Yashiro (in Oiso) to Bernard Berenson

Yashiro's Study of the Annunciation in Art (1952), mentioned in this letter, was sent to Berenson with a handwritten dedication by the author. A sketch of Yashiro by Dario Neri was found in the book. The sketch was presumably made when Yashiro visited I Tatti in 1956; see below.

Oiso, Aug. 11th

My dear B.B.,

Although this is too late, let me send my hearty congratulation to you at your 90th birthday. I read in the Atlantic Monthly an excellent “open letter” to you written by my friend Francis Henry Taylor, & I agree with him entirely.

Continuing my last letter, which I posted just a few days ago, I must tell you that “Pageant of Japanese Art” is just a popular picture book, which is not worthy to be included in the I Tatti library. Your idea to add better works on Far Eastern Art in the Library, I agree with entirely, and if you like, I can help you in getting good works.

It is almost about a year ago that I promised to send you my work on the Annunciation in Art, which is published only in Japanese. The reason for delaying to send it to you is my shyness or timidity to show to my master the work, with which I am not entirely satisfied. I wrote the book in Japan & in Japan, material for much a study, which requires theological studies, as well as artistic & topographical, is very, very inadequate. The book contains many mistakes or rather many parts, which should have been elaborated more minutely. Moreover, I wanted to give you an English summary of what I said in the text. But to prepare an English summary became such a big work that I could not continue. All these are the reasons, why I have not sent the book, inspite of my promise. Please pity me a shy sentiment of a school boy, who in sending his thesis to his master. Now taking a great courage, I send you the book. It is not just an iconographical study, but rather a historical study of the pictorial development of that most fascinating subject. Although the book contains many mistakes & inaccuracies, yet I take the book to be a unique study of the subject. I really wish that I take the book as the first draft of my study & elaborate on it at I Tatti library with your criticism & guidance & publish it in English. Can’t you suggest and recommend me to some foundation, if it can help me to do that.

This is an exceptional, hot summer. I hope you are well.

Yours ever,

Yuki Yashiro