“Returning Home” at the Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art

The Manyo’an Collection was pleased to be end the year-long Japan tour of its “Returning Home” exhibition at the Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art, which hosted the exhibition from October 29 to December 4, 2011. On the occasion of the opening of that exhibition, we extended the following message to the people of the Fukushima region:

To the survivors of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami

It was with great concern and disbelief in our hearts that we awoke to the news of the Tohoku earthquake and horrific tsunami on March 11, 2011. And it was with growing despair that we watched on TV the extent of the devastation and death that had occurred from the nuclear plant with all of its ruinous ramifications. We bereaved for the loss and pain of the lives of millions of people in this region.

We too have known the debilitating effects of natural disaster. For six years ago, our own hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Eighty percent of the homes in our city were flooded, most people were evacuated, and there too, many lives were lost.
Miraculously, although much of our property sustained significant damage, our Japanese art collection was saved from the floodwaters. Now, six years after the hurricane our city has regained almost all of its original population and life has returned to normalcy.

And so, we recognize with heavy hurts and personal memories that more than a half-year since the earthquake and tsunami here in Tohoku, there is still much to be done to return to even basic stability. Although the situation in Northeastern Japan is beyond compare, having survived and contributed to the rebuilding of our own historic city, we are keenly aware of the importance of reviving cultural institutions and programs for the sake of the emotional and spiritual recovery of the region.

In that sense, we are honored to be able to share our collection, a source of beauty that provided so much light to us during our time of need, with the people of the Tohoku region here at the Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art. We hope that this exhibition of artworks that have survived centuries of conflict and natural disaster themselves will serve as a source of enjoyment as well as a form of encouragement amid your on-going efforts to rebuild. Finally, we offer this exhibition as a reminder of the great fondness and support we feel individually and as a nation for the Japanese people and culture even from halfway around the world.

Our warmest wishes and heartfelt support in your recovery efforts.

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