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, 5 May

My dear B.B.,

Thank you very much for your letter of April 26, which has just arrived. Since early this year I began to suffer from terrible sleeplessness & together with the effects of the medicine against it. I could not do any intellectual work, including writing letters in English. As there is nobody except myself in my family, who can write in English, I have been silent to you so long. Now gradually I feel better, and with a guilt feeling I took up my pen immediately to write this letter.

Indeed you kindly sent me the dedication to me of the Japanese Edition of Italian Painters, which I hardly deserve, but which I dared to accept with gratitude as a token of how you feel about me. Both the Japanese publisher and my pupils, who are translating the text, are very thankful to you too.

The translation is much delayed, because one of the four translators went to the U.S., but he is coming back soon, so the translation would not be very seriously delayed.

I knew nothing about the death of Horovitz. I am horrified to hear that. I am so sorry for him & also I am greatly disappointed, because he had asked me to write a book, which would be something like a “Story of Oriental Art”, in which all scholarly matters are expressed in an easy, humanly appealing way. I was preparing for it. But as far as the Japanese version of your Italian Painters is concerned, I think there is no impediment by the death of Horovitz.

By my intellectual inactivity these several months, there are many promises of mine, which I have not fulfilled. I will do them immediately. i) to send you Egami’s books on the ancient civilizations of the northern Eurasia. I have been looking for the books at the second hand book shops, but they never came to the market. So I send as my small contributions to the I Tatti Library my own books, which were given to me by the author.

Another promise, which I have not fulfilled is to send you my study of the Annunciation in art. It is still very incomplete, but as you kindly told me it might be published in English, if I can get help from some foundation, & if I can stay in Florence some months and study & make corrections at your library. Here in Japan, there are so few materials for such studies. (As I came to the end of the paper, I stop that).

Yuki Yashiro

Please remember me to Nicky!