Bernard Berenson (in Settignano) to Yashiro

May 1, 1949

My dear Yashiro,

I have not written before because I was busy corresponding or waiting for people from U.S.A to whom I could put your case. Everywhere I have encountered appreciation of your merits and sympathy with your case. Unfortunately our great universities and museums are in great distress owing partly to the diminished purchasing power of their endowments and in greater part still because of the huge influx of students who for several years had been deprived of their studies by the war. The result is that neither Harvard nor any institution in Boston, New York or Washington can afford to employ a student like yourself, nor have pupils sufficiently interested in his work. I have however not abandoned all hope. I expect in the course of the next few months to see one or two persons who may find suitable employment for you in one, or the other of the cities above mentioned.  All the same I wonder whether you would not do better to stay at home and help your people to recover to hold to what is best in your culture, and to eschew the cannibalism of your militarists. At the same time, you might discover more and more sources of art historical interests in Japan itself.  

Please do not think that I shall cease working in your interest if you decide to leave Japan for good and settle in U.S.A. But my own experience makes me wonder whether one gets the best out of ones soul in exile - even the most enchanting of exiles, as mine has been here.

Reflect and let me know. 

Nor need I tell you what happiness it would be to see you again. To think that 25 years have passed!

Affectionately and devotedly,

Bernard Berenson