Yashiro (in Oiso) to Bernard Berenson

Oiso, Oct. 31st

My dear B.B.,

How are you getting on? Now under the blue sky of autumn you must be enjoying one of the best seasons in the year. I do hope you are well!

About a month ago your friends the Wrightsmans arrived in Japan with your letter of introduction. Indeed they are extremely nice people, & we liked them very very much. Their stay in Japan was very short, so I could not meet them so often as we could hope, but I tried hard to let them see some of the best examples of Japanese art, which are not usually shown to visitors. Both myself & my wife Fumi & our son Akio are all very glad to have come to know them. We promised to call on them, when we go to America.

Some days ago we met other friends of yours Maestro Vittorio Gui & his wife, who came to Japan to present Italian operas, which were a great success. Our son Akio as a composer knew Gui’s works & his fame & it was Akio, who first met them after a concert & they told him that they know me & my wife well through their conversations with BB, etc. etc. We were only too glad to meet Guis themselves after a few days. There was no end to our talks to each other. Their talks about their home at Fiesole, about you, about Nicky & about many other persons & things in Florence made me really homesick for Florence. I wonder, when I can visit Florence again & come to I Tatti to greet you again personally.

There is one possibility of my visit to I Tatti again in a future not very far. The English publishers the Medici of my “Botticelli” are willing to republish it in a revised edition, and I want to do it very much. Because although my old book on Botticelli is unsatisfactory in many ways, I feel a sentimental attachment to it, and I want to republish it in a renewed form. In order to do it, I have to study Botticelli over again, so that I may make the new edition up-to-date. For this purpose the best place for my work is of course I Tatti, where I shall have to study in the library perhaps for three months, and then I want to travel some places in Europe & America to see Botticellis & to collect good photographs. If this scheme of the revised edition of Botticelli materializes, I shall have the pleasure of staying sometime in Florence again & frequenting I Tatti, as I used to do more than thirty years ago. I do hope such time comes again soon, so that I can meet you as much as I can and get your last teachings as much as possible.

At present I am busily writing in English a book or rather the introductory text for an Album “Masterpieces of Japanese Art,” which would be published by the English publishers Thames & Hudson in London next year. As I have to finish the text in haste, I do not think that it would make a good book, but as an album it will surely be very beautiful, because I shall use very good photos made by a special German photographer, who was sent to Japan by my publisher.

I think I have already told you that I am being invited by Stanford University, California to come as Consultant Professor for a period. Although it is not yet definite, yet I can say I shall perhaps go there in December & stay there for about five months. If I go there at all, I shall surely visit John Walker at Washington & talk over the projects of my books with him.

I hope this letter will find you well and healthy. I wanted to tell you how we met the Wrightsmans and the Guis & how we were glad to have met them.

There are many other things to tell you, but I think it wiser to stop here & post this letter, so that it arrives you earlier, although as a letter it is still very inadequate.

My wife Fumi sends her love to you & to Nicky.

Yours ever,

Yukio Yashiro