Dante Alighieri is celebrated 700 years after his death not only in Italy but all over the world, because what he has given to literature has constituted the foundations of Italian culture but also the building blocks of many other cultures in the world, even unexpected ones, including the Japanese one.
In fact, the fame of Dante arrives in Japan quite late, con l’era Meiji (1868-1912), when imperial reforms open the country to the West, allowing for reciprocal cultural exchanges. The first to mention the Italian poet is Mori Ōgai, medical novelist who lived between the two centuries, who, after reading the Divine Comedy in German translation during his studies in Leipzig, he talks about it in his Germany Diaries.
From there the literary revivals become numerous, in prose and poetry, by contemporary artists and writers who elaborate elements deriving above all from the Comedy, but not only, in his literary works, in prose and poetry, figurative and cinematographic.
Dante, i manga e Go Nagari
Dante’s influence also reaches manga, and in this sense the first name to be made is that of Go Nagari, famous in the world above all for having created Mazinga Z, but known at home and in the sector as a great innovator: his is indeed Mao Dante, from 1971, manga inspired by the Divine Comedy of the Alighieri illustrated by Gustave Doré.
It is precisely to celebrate the poet who, for the first time in Italy, will take place an unprecedented digital exhibition, promoted by National Committee of the Ministry of Culture, Romics, International Festival of comics, animation, cinema and games, by title Dante through the artistic imagination of Go Nagai.
Nagai brings to the attention of the manga public, not only Japanese and not only Italian, a complex universe such as Dante’s one, offering thirty original plates from Mao Dante, Devilman (Debiruman), of 1972, and The divine Comedy 1994.
In his comic works Nagai delves into it religious themes, the representation of the underworld, of demonic beings, the relationship between good and evil. A job that finds full fulfillment in Divine Comedy. The path will be divided between the choice of the most significant Dante’s songs and the most evocative visual representations of the author at a stylistic and narrative level. An opportunity to immerse yourself in the tables of Nagai, preserved in the Dynamic archives in Japan, specially brought to light for this exceptional exhibition, which will be usable for free from the website www.romics.it from 25 March to 30 April 2021. To accompany her a special meeting, with the remote participation of the curators of the exhibition, Sabrina Perucca, artistic director of Romics; Enrico Fornaroli, historian and expert in comics and manga and director of the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna until 2020, and of the teacher Go Nagai himself.