In memory of professor Bonaventura Ruperti, the 'Prophet of Japan'


Ca’ Foscari mourns the death of Bonaventura Ruperti, full professor of Japanese Language and Literature at the Department of Asian and North African Studies.

'The prophet of Japan', as ​​his students affectionately called him, passed away in the afternoon of 5 January.

He cultivated a great passion for Japanese theatre, becoming an internationally recognized scholar of the highest level with over 100 publications on the topic. He was well-esteemed not only by his academic peers, but also by the most prominent masters of Japanese performative arts.

He led many different research projects in Japan, including the most recent “The body in the Japanese Performing Arts: Death and Life, Puppets and Artificial Bodies” at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyōto.

The Japanese scientific community has always held him in high regard, as attested by the career awards received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: in 2017, professor Ruperti received a commendation for his achievements in promoting Japanese culture in Italy and in 2020 he was awarded the Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

His intellectual rigour and honesty, as well as a strong respect for institutions, have always motivated his efforts at every level, in the many positions he held since he first arrived at Ca’ Foscari in 1992. His contribution to Japanese studies in Venice helped the whole study field grow and build international recognition, and his many alumni all over the world are a testament to his legacy.

Ca’ Foscari remembers him with the words of his colleagues at the Department of Asian and North African Studies: “He was always generous, sensitive and capable of listening to people, ready to help in every situation. He always had a warm smile and he knew how to encourage everyone to overcome any difficulties.
All foreign language assistants remember him with affection and gratitude for his constant trust in their work, forever sharing his strong belief in human sciences as an instrument of peace.

As a man of peace and harmony, he will always remain an example to follow in everyday life. He knew how to instil his refined passion in his students, who he led in the learning of the Japanese language from the very first year. His affection towards the students was always reciprocated and he was often included in many student initiatives. He had a contagious love for life, beauty and the arts”.

In one of his last interviews - on the occasion of the award received on 14 July 2021 - when asked about the difficult times brought on by the pandemic in Italy and Japan, he quoted a famous poem by Izumi Shikibu:

Out of the darkness
Onto the dark path
I must enter—
Shine in the distance
Moon over the mountain’s crest

The funeral will be held on 9 January 2023 at 2.45 p.m. in the Duomo di Vicenza




ボナヴェントゥーラ・ルペルティ先生は学生時代よりカフォスカリ大学に在籍し、研究・教育に専念されて多くの学生たちから親愛を込めて「日本の預言者」(Profeta del Giappone)と呼ばれ慕われてきました。