“Italians do it Better”: From Don Matteo to Montalbano, the Discreet Charm of Italian Noir and the Conquest of the Land of the Rising Sun
Keywords:Japan, italian crime fiction, nation branding
In the increasingly widespread diffusion of the Italian brand abroad, Japan now plays a significant role. In fact, the boom in the popularity of Made in Italy in Japan dates back to the early 90s and, if gastronomy, fashion, football, design and travel were the leading actors at an early stage, more recently television dramas – and especially Italian crime fiction – also arrived. The aim of the present contribution is to reflect on the reception and diffusion of popular series such as Il commissario Montalbano and Don Matteo (which in recent years have landed on the successful crime channel AXN Mistery), in the wider context of the trend that in few decades has led Italy to be the foreign country most loved by Japanese people, among commonplaces, established stereotypes and prejudices (Miyake, 2011). In particular, it will be highlighted how the interest in the images of Italianity conveyed by that two specific productions intercept trends and phenomena firmly established in contemporary Japan, related to processes enhancing the acclaimed cultural authenticity closely linked to the construction and strengthening of national identity at a time of transformation and political-social crisis.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Paola Scrolavezza
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