Phoenix by Kenji Yoshioka
Moonlit Sounion by Masayuki Murai
Dear Sirs and Madams,
Sometimes I purchase prints, oil paintings and Japanese paintings. I hear that these days young entrepreneurs are purchasing paintings for the purpose of investment, yet that is irrelevant to me. I only desire to hang those on white walls of offices and factories of my company. It is rather large, so I can hang paintings that have sizes about 63 to 101 inches (one side).
Some customers who visit our factories ask a commemorating photograph in front of the paintings, which makes me really happy.
The recent painting that I purchased was titled "Moonlit Sounion" by Masayuki Murai, who received the Minister of Education Award, the best prize in Japanese paintings this year. It is depicting the Temples of Poseidon in Cape Sounion in Greece. Mr. Murai says that it is the compilation of his blues, and the purchase was only possible after a year of negotiation.
At my home there are several paintings that my father left thirty-some years ago. They are of those now well-known painters who already passed away. They were in obscurity when my father purchased them. I take off my hat to his eyes.
The first print that I bought by loan after I got married was a small one by Joan Miro. It was hung on the wall of a living room of a small apartment. I was very discouraged by the current price which is not very different from the one which I paid.
The truth is that painting is the area of my wife, and our children even gave her paint material for her 60th birthday. It doesn't seem that she has time to dedicate herself in painting. Yet her hobby of visiting museums of the west and east of Japan is a professional level. She is always watching "Sunday Museum" on NHK every week.
A Saturday 12 years ago in November, I visited galleries day and night in Ginza, Tokyo, while cold autumn winds were blasting. At that time there were 500 galleries in Ginza, now it has declined to 300. I had an opportunity to visit a small auction in the late afternoon. The feature of that day was Takashi Murakami, who is known for collaborating with Louis Vuitton. Agents for Paris and New York were competing and holding telephones to the end.
The one that I purchased was one that I encountered at a small gallery the first time in the morning. After visiting 40 other galleries, I came back to the first one. It was a mysterious encounter for me. Some people say that paintings that you encounter are karmic, and I agree.
The title was "Phoenix" by the deceased Kenji Yoshioka, and it is hung on the wall of Marinfood Tokyo Branch. It was the symbol of the business plan for the coming year. Later on, I have some collaboration between paintings I purchased and the business plans. It is mysteriously matching.
Now being the end of the year, I wondered how it all went. When I looked back, I am struck with the feeling that a year had passed with a gust of wind to disappear far and forever away.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everyone for the past year. I apologize for my rare correspondence and I wish that everyone and their families will welcome in a new year, filled with hope and dreams. I would like to finish my greeting with the 11 biggest news events of the year.
11 Biggest News (picked by Marin Food Administration Department)
- Year 2018
- Big natural disasters including torrential rain (western Japan), earthquakes (Northern Osaka and Hokkaido), fierce heat (all over Japan), and Typhoon No. 21 hit Japan one after another.
- President Trump swept the World.
- Japanese athletes won 13 medals, which was the largest number of medals at the PyeongChang Olympics 2018.
- In the world professional sports field, Shohei Otani (baseball), Naomi Osaka (Tennis), Naoya Inoue (boxing) flourished.
- Osaka won the right to hold the Expo in 2025.
- Prime Minister Abe persevered the Moritomo scandal of falsification of public documents and the 4th Abe cabinet started.
- Scandals broke out in the Japanese sporting world.
- Nissan Automobile Chairman was arrested for undue rewards.
- Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo was closed after 83 years of history. It was relocated to Toyosu.
- Tasuku Honjo won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for his contribution in cancer treatment.
- "Heisei" period in the Japanese calendar will be ending by the end of April next year.
- Year 2017
- Donald Trump was inaugurated as President and visited Japan.
- North Korea repeatedly launched ballistic missiles.
- Emperor Akihito to abdicate the throne on April 30, 2019.
- Moritomo and Kake scandals disrupt the political world.
- Liberal Democratic Party won the House of Representatives election and the third Abe Cabinet started.
- Major Japanese manufacturers continued causing scandals.
- Japanese teenage prodigy Souta Fujii achieved 29 winning streak matches in the traditional board game of shogi.
- Park Geun-hye President was impeached and Moon Jae-in President was inaugurated in Korea.
- Terrorism does not come to an end.
- Sumo grand champion Nichiba Fuji retired because of the issue of assault.
- Sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu became the first Japanese to break the 10-second barrier.
- Year 2016
- Donald Trump was chosen as the next president of America.
- Japan took the biggest number of medals as much as 41 at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
- Yuriko Koike became the governor of Tokyo and issues such as Toyosu seethe.
- Earthquake occurred frequently including Kumamoto.
- Brexit: Britain votes to leave EU.
- Hiroshima Carp baseball team won the Central League, while Nippon Ham won the Japan number 1.
- 42nd G7 summit was held in Ise Shima and President Obama visited Hiroshima.
- Yoshinori Osumi won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
- The Emperor showed his will of abdication before death.
- Impeachment of President Park Geun-hye was adopted.
- Pop group SMAP disbands on Dec 31.