Japanese Teachers at the Royal School of Commerce (1873-1923)
Only ﬁve years after the Royal High School of Commerce (the present Ca’ Foscari University) was founded in 1868, the School introduced, for the ﬁrst time in Italy, Japanese language courses taught by native speakers. The classes started in 1873 and continued until 1888, and were again part of the curriculum from 1909 to 1923. In those years a little number of very active Japanese teachers (interprets, linguists, sculptors and painters) contributed to shaping the education in Japanese of Italian students, who in turn went on to direct Japanese instruction in Italy. Their guiding spirit was Guglielmo Berchet, a tireless promoter of Italo-Japanese relations.