Yashiro (in Oiso) to Bernard Berenson

Oiso, Sept. 17th

My dear B.B.,

I read your letter from Vallombrosa, written on Sept. 10th with great enthusiasm & with my heart full of gratitude to you. You told me how you spoke of me & of my wishes with John Walker. I really feel almost guilty to trouble my old master with my own affair & take his precious time and energy! Please pardon me! But I have my full confidence in what I would do & what I can do, if I come over to the wish for some years by your help. I would never betray your expectations.

Studies of Oriental Art still remain on a stage, something like that of Italian Painting, before Morelli appeared and before my master BB. purged it with new analysis and criticism. Oriental Art is, moreover, on a condition much worse, because of the difficulty of Oriental languages. While I was studying Italian Painting with you, without noticing it, I learned the method with which you have built up your wonderful work on Italian Painting. When I turned my attention to Oriental Art, I felt that my mission is to apply this method to the study of Oriental Art & build up a history of Oriental Art with a new attitude. You may think that my ambition is too big, and maybe I am a bit too old to accomplish it, as it should be. But I want to devote my remaining years for it and I think I can at least open a new approach to Oriental Art.

Please don’t doubt that my major work is to write books on Oriental Art. There is no danger for me to go astray.

When I used to meet the late Mr. Horovitz of Phaidon Press, he repeatedly asked me to write a book on “Story of Oriental Art”, and I assured him I shall write it one day. I wonder if my talks with him are transmitted to his successors at the Phaidon Press.

While I was in U. S. three years ago with the Japanese Exhibition, John Walker was very very kind to me. I wish that my dream of going to the West be realized by your help. 

Yours ever faithful pupil,

Yukio Yashiro

P.S.  John Coolidge wrote from your villino & told me how you are faring well. That is a very good news to me. Also I read in the Atlantic Monthly Francis Henry Taylor’s article on you, which also delighted me. I long to call on you at I Tatti once again and before long.

P.S.  Please remember me to Nicky. I repeat in my memory the many happy days, which I spent at I Tatti. At that time, that is to say, in 1922 and thereabout, we were all quite young!