Samurai and Mazinga at Ca’ dei Carraresi , The Orient arrives in Treviso

by Alice Danesin

Between the Cagnan river and via Palestro rises one of the most characteristic medieval buildings of the city of Treviso, Ca ‘dei Carraresi. Today site of important exhibitions and events, once known as Osteria della Croce, the building was first owned by Venetian then tby the noble family of Padua Da Carrara, had been used as the seat of officers and soldiers of the Family; hence the name of Ca ‘dei Carraresi (inferred by the presence of their coat of arms on the facade of the building).

Thanks to a major restoration work, in 1987 by the Foundation Cassamarca, the House used to host conferences, shows and exhibitions.

Outside, majestic Romanesque building with exposed brick, mullioned windows, trefoils and pointed arches; to internal evocative medieval frescoes can still be seen.

The cycle of great exhibitions began in 2000 with the theme of Impressionism; then followed exhibitions dedicated to East with China, the magical India to Japan in 2014.

The interview with Helena Durante, a graduate student at Ca’ Foscari in Oriental Languages and trainee to the current exhibition on the Japan- From Samurai to Mazinga

  1. First with China, now with Japan, the ‘East arrived in Treviso: it means that our town is increasingly internationalized?

Undoubtedly yes. An exhibition of this kind, has attracted an audience of international and of all ages. Then, certainly depends on the type of visitors: those who choose to get involved at 360 ° and those who decide to be just a spectator. In any case, all were fascinated. This is the ‘last show of the cycle on’ East Hadrian Madaro, official curator. Certainly deserved a greater promotion.

  1. From Samurai to Mazinga. What was the inspiration of the exhibition?

The inspiration is definitely given by our vision of Japan as the capital of the manga, cartoon, of souls presented on an historical-artistic topicas opposed to what Japan  really is.

  1. What do you think of the organization?

The space has been cleverly organized between the various rooms, which have their own theme in harmony with each other. At a technical level however, the captions were found to be not visible; at the expense of people of a certain age; and only in Italian, to the detriment of foreigners.

  1. What enjoyed most?

The presence of the robot over everything. No doubt, the mega Mazinger all ‘entry has been able to attract children but also adults and elderly. As an orientalist, I believe that the exhibition should be was more focused on the history of the Edo period (1600-1800) of Japan, but most visitors come to the show expecting robots, not the works of art, screens, the works of Zen writing.

  1. There is a common thread among the various rooms?

Yes, it is the Samurai. It starts from the class samurai arts of ‘East Asia, such as the No theater, the tea ceremony, calligraphy, to the Ukiyo-e, Japanese prints.

  1. What snaps between the memory board of childhood and the thrill of it right in front?

My childhood, in the 90s were Creamy and Sailor Moon, and it was exciting trovarsele across as action figures. Children embrace robots, our parents in front of ‘Man and Tiger Mazinger exploding with happiness starting to sing the initials of their favorite cartoons.

  1. The exhibition in three words.

Stimulating, understandable, lively.

  1. What is the work that you’d stop to admire more than a few minutes?

The Ukiyo-e, Japanese prints. I love the tradition. They are wonderful. I’m happy with how I managed to make it appreciate by many of the groups I guided.

  1. Why should a tourist coming to see it?

The exhibition is accessible to all, the contents are part of our cultural universe, we have heard about from books and films. We are surprised when we find ourselves in front of the armor of a Samurai, he smiles when the armor is flanked by Doraemon. The contrast between historical and contemporary gave the exhibition a note of freshness that ‘made it very exciting for everyone.


Casa dei Carraresi

Casa dei Carraresi

Casa dei Carraresi from the Pescheria

from the Pescheria

Casa dei carraresi from via Palestro

from via Palestro

Casa dei Carraresi on the Cagnan river

on the Cagnan River

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