Giuliana Stramigioli

Giuliana Stramigioli

Giuliana Stramigioli in the 1980s.
Born Rome, Italy
Citizenship Italy Italian

Giuliana Stramigioli (Italian: [dʒuˈlja:na stramiˈdʒjɔ:li]; Rome, 8 August 1914 – Rome, 25 July 1988) was an Italian business woman, university professor and Japanologist.


After graduating at the University of Rome in 1936 under the guidance of Giuseppe Tucci, Stramigioli arrived in Japan as an exchange student specialising at Kyoto University in the Japanese Language and History of the Art of Buddhism.

Having returned to her homeland after two years, she started teaching at the University of Naples, but went again to Japan to take up a scholarship offered by the Kokusai bunka shinkōkai (today Japan Foundation).

Between 1936 and 1940, she worked as a free-lance journalist, collaborating with Italian newspapers such as Gazzetta del Popolo and il Giornale d'Italia while writing an account of her travels to Korea, and a reportage about North Japan and the Ainu people. During World War II Stramigioli served at the Italian Embassy in Japan and then at the Italian Institute of Culture.

At the end of the conflict, she started teaching Italian at Tokyo University of Foreign Languages. In 1948 she founded her firm, Italifilm, devoted to the importation of Italian movies into Japan. Through her activities, movie fans there came to know Italian Neorealism with works like Rome, open city, Bicycle Thieves, Paisan, and others.[1]

Moreover, it is Stramiglioli who recommended Kurosawa Akira's ‘Rashomon’ (1951) to the Venice Film Festival, where the movie was awarded with the Golden Lion prize. In his autobiography, Kurosawa wrote:

I arrived home depressed, with barely enough strength to slide open the door to the entry. Suddenly my wife came bounding out. “Congratulations!” I was unwittingly indignant: “For what?” “Rashomon has the Grand Prix.” Rashomon had won the Grand Prix at the Venice International Film Festival, and I was spared from having to eat cold rice. Once again an angel had appeared out of nowhere. I did not even know that Rashomon had been submitted to the Venice Film Festival. The Japan representative to Italiafilm, Giuliana Stramigioli, had seen it and recommended it to Venice. It was like pouring water into the sleeping ears of the Japanese film industry. Later Rashomon won the American Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.


Stramigioli returned home permanently in 1965, where she kept the Professorship of Japanese Language and Literature at "La Sapienza" University of Rome until 1985.

She was, with Fosco Maraini among others, a founding member of the AISTUGIA - the Italian Association for the Japanese Studies.[3]

During her first stay in Japan,(possibly Kyōto) 1937


Selected works

II parte, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, vol. XLII, fasc. II, Roma, 1967, pp. 121–183. III parte, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, vol. XLII, fasc. IV, Roma, 1967, pp. 407–453.

II e III parte, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, vol. XI, fasc. II, Roma, 1977, pp. 205–279.


  • Burdett Charles, Journeys Through Fascism: Italian Travel-Writing between the Wars, New York; Oxford, Berghahn Books, 2007.
  • Dittmer Lowell, Kim Samuel S., China's Quest for National Identity, Cornell University Press, 1993.
  • Kublin, Hyman, The evolution of Japanese colonialism, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1959, II/1: 67-84.
  • Kurosawa Akira, Something Like An Autobiography, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011.
  • (it) La Rocca, Teresa Ciapparoni, Giuliana Stramigioli (1914-1988): donna, manager e docente, in Andrea Maurizi and Teresa Ciapparoni La Rocca (eds), La figlia occidentale di Edo. Scritti in memoria di Giuliana Stramigioli, Roma, FrancoAngeli, 2012: 59-72.
  • (it) Orsi, Maria Teresa, Giuliana Stramigioli (1914-1988), Rivista degli Studi orientali, nn. 62-63, 1990: 143-145.
  • (it) Scalise, Mario, L'Associazione italiana per gli studi giapponesi, in Italia Giappone – 450 anni, ed. by Adolfo Tamburello, Roma-Napoli, Istituto italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente-Università degli studi di Napoli «L’Orientale», 2003: 697-698.
  • Steenstrup, Carl. "Notes on the Gunki or Military Tales: Contributions to the Study of the Impact of War on Folk Literature in Premodern Japan." Comparative Civilizations Review 4 (1980): 1-28.


  1. Cf. La Rocca 2012.
  2. Kurosawa 2011, page 187
  3. Cf. Scalise 2003.

External links

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