Sad News; The Passing of Utsumi Teiko
One day I'll never forget is the first time I stepped into the Mingeikan Folk Craft Museum in Tokyo; the majestic building has a presence as a house of immense soul and beauty. It was truly a profound visit and for any who have not visited the Mingeikan before I hope you have the chance to do so before that final breath. Of which, I'm very sad to say, the lovely and gracious Utsumi Teiko, took the other day; she passed away June 16th from cancer at the age of 79; the Japanese press had a short spot on it:http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20110618-00000500-san-soci Utsumi-san served as international director of the museum for many years and was the mother of the equally gracious and lovely Mimura Kyoko, also a great ambassador for the Mingeikan. On my first visit to the Minkeikan many years ago, Utsumi-san took me into the director's office and much to my great surprise was my Japan Times column pasted to the wall; "not in a very long time has someone written such a poignant and spot-on article about this museum," she told me. I was extremely moved to hear that. I'm sure that for all who had the honor to have met her you know how I feel when I say she was a shining light for the Mingeikan and will be missed very much. My condolences to her family and to all who were touched by Utsumi Teiko, I for one was very deeply.