“Sorelle d’Oriente”: le donne nipponiche nelle “Lettere dal Giappone” (1929) di Maria Albertina Loschi

  • Anna Lisa Somma


This paper aims to offer a concise portrait of Maria Albertina Loschi (1888?-1981) – a teacher, journalist, feminist and globetrotter –, as well as to analyse her reportage Lettere dal Giappone (Letters from Japan). It consists of a series of articles written from various Japanese cities and published in the Roman newspaper Il Messaggero in 1929 during her world trip.

In particular, this article aims to investigate the representations of Japanese women presented by Loschi, often depicted with warmth and empathy, in sharp contrast with their exotic and sensual portrayals frequently offered by male writers and travellers. Loschi defined them ‘sorelle d’oriente’ (oriental sisters) to emphasise her closeness to them and her desire to see them more satisfied and independent. 

Despite some occasional stereotype, Loschi was able to provide her audience with a gallery of women (e.g. students, nurses, business women), moving beyond the traditional feminine image of ryōsai kenbo (良妻賢母) (good wife, wise mother).