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Maria L. Bugno

Maria L. Bugno

PhD student in Japanese Studies


I received a BA and an MA in Japanese Studies from Ca’ Foscari University (Venice), with a thesis on Early Modern Japanese Educational Works for Women, focusing in particular on Meijo nasake kurabe 名女情比 (1681). During my MA I collaborated in the digitalisation of the Marega Collection (Università Pontificia Salesiana, Rome), under the coordination of the ARC (Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University - Kyoto), and I received training in reading Japanese woodblock print calligraphic texts. Following this, I spent two years studying  as a research student at Senshu University (Tokyo) with the help of a Monbukagakusho Scholarship.

Subject groups/Research projects

Japanese Studies:

Research Interests

Current research

My doctoral project investigates the aims and influence of Japanese pre-modern sexually explicit rewritings of earlier literature. The focus of my research is on how the sexual element is used in the reworking and adaptation of non-sexually explicit texts in order to convey knowledge or to create new narrative works.

More broadly, I am interested in the juxtaposition and use of pictures, texts and dialogue in both koshokubon (erotic or lascivious books) and shunpon (books containing shunga pictures), in the relationship of these works with the literary panorama of the time, and in their circulation and readership. In my thesis, I also examine the notions of parody and intertextuality and the definitions of erotic and ‘pornographic’.


Japanese early modern literature (Edo), Book history, history of art (ukiyo-e, shunga), intertextuality, parody, cultural history, literary studies.

Other Professional Activities

- Intensive Workshop in Japanese Early-modern Textual Scholarship (Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 March 2015) Workshop about physical characteristics of books, their bibliographic information, online resources available for the study of Edo-period books and the creation of bibliographic descriptions of books. (Emmanuel college, teaching staff Dr Laura Moretti, Prof. Ellis Tinios)


Key Publications

- Kokugo to kokubungaku, (Meiji shoin) February 2017 「国語と国文学」2月号 - 明治書院  

“Meijo nasake kurabe to Genji on iro asobi kō” 『名女情比』と『源氏御色遊』


Transcriptions of cursive Japanese and English translations of poems in:

"Kunisada: Imaging Drama and Beauty", Robert Schaap, with contributions by Sebastian Izzard, Paul M. Griffith and Henk Herwig

Talks/conference papers

- Research presentation at the International Symposium at Wayō Women University - 14 Sept. 2013

“Meijo nasake kurabe ni tsuite” 「名女情比」について

- Research presentation at the Conference of the Association of Japanese Early modern literature 日本近世文学会 秋季大会 (22 Nov. 2014 at Nihon University)

“Meijo nasake kurabe kō” 『名女情比』考

- Research Presentation at the DEAS Postgraduate Research Seminar (21 April 2015)

“Shunpon: sex and humour in rewriting early Edo period literature”

- Research Presentation at the DEAS Postgraduate Research Seminar (1 December 2015) “Kōshoku Otogibōko: A Case Study of 'Genre-Marker' and Sexual Manual”

- Research Presentation at the 12th EAJS Workshop for Doctoral Students (5 July 2016 – EHESS Paris)

“Shunpon: sex and humour in the rewritings of the early Edo period literature”

- Research presentation at the AJLS Annual Conference at Penn State (28 October 2016)

“Shunpon: sex and humour in the rewritings of the early Edo period literature”