Yashiro (in London) to Bernard and Mary Berenson

3 Mecklenburgh Sq.
London, W.C.1
Oct. 4

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Berenson,

I have heard of your arrival in London, & thank heaven, I have just got your letter address. So I hasten to write to you to send my compliments.

Time flies so fast, & it is already three years & more since I saw you. I am glad to hear from your friends that you are all quite well.

After my return to Japan, all these three years I had such a busy & hard time. To compensate for my long absence from the Academy, I had to do many extra-works, which, taking up nearly all my time, made me a very bad correspondent. My inexplicable silence seems to have made many good friends of mine angry with me. I feel guilty & ashamed to think of my silence after the intimacy you allowed me to enjoy in your helpful friendship. Here humbly I ask you pardon.

Although a bad pupil & lazy correspondent, yet I am a little proud to tell you -- and I am sure you would be glad to know -- that I could do something fundamental for the future study of the Oriental Art. After studying under your guidance & imbibing your accurate way of research-works in Art, so far as I could, I found the present state of art study in the Far East very unsatisfactory & could so far succeed as to persuade the interested people in Japan to establish an institute where practically your method of study is to be pursued in the field of Oriental Art. You may have heard of this “Institute of Art Research” from Sir Robert Witt. It is to be opened from next year & I am going to be its director. You will find from the reports, which we are going to issue from next year, that you & your works are the fundamental & constant inspiration for us all. Therefore, although I am only a bad pupil of yours, being nothing but a simple artist by nature, yet I am educating my assistants in strict conformity to your precepts.

When I left Florence, I promised your secretary & librarian Miss Mariano to supply her with the list of important publications in the Far East, & so far I have not fulfilled my promise. Don’t think that Yashiro promise easily & forgets all about easily. So far all my energy & time have been spent on the establishment of the Institute. Now that it is established, I made it one of the policies of the Institute, to compile a trustworthy bibliography of the Oriental Art, which my assistants already know to send to Miss Mariano. From next April, when I shall be in Japan, I & my assistants are always prepared to help Miss Mariano to add to the oriental section of the excellent library at I Tatti.

I wonder when you will be in Florence. I shall be very sorry & disappointed if I fail to see you in this stay of mine in Europe, I am told that you are now in Oxford or somewhere out of London. I have been in London already for two months & now I begin to move about. I go to galleries hoping to meet you, but so far I could not come across you.

I have heard that your book of Drawings is being prepared for a small edition & that an excellent young scholar from Oxford [Kenneth Clark], whom I was about to meet & missed the chance, is helping you. I am very glad to hear that, as I am among the most ardent to see the book come out in a form within the convenient reach of a student.

Please write to me, if I shall have the chance to meet you. Did I tell you that I have got married? I had to leave my wife in Japan, but I must at least introduce her in photographs to you, whose pupil I always deem myself.

Yours ever,

Yukio Yashiro