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Happy new year

Dear friends,

First of all, sorry for the delay in responding to your messages, postcards, and so on. I wish everyone a Happy New Year. Thank you very much for your warm comments, personal messages, visits, heartfelt gifts and a lot more during the times when my mother needed it the most. From the very beginning, I felt supported by a lot of people, especially during problems that my family experienced. Also, it was the last year when the One Sky, One World project started, which I considered as not only my dream but also Yoshikuni Katsu's. In the same year, Yoshikuni Katsu, passed away. That was the most stressful event that happened last year as he was one of my best friends, my most important business partner. Yoshikuni was on the board of trustees of the NPO which I started in Kyoto. Yoshikuni was responsible for the cultural exchange between Japan and Europe. He was a multilingual person, and conversant with two completely different fields: arts and sciences. He also spearheaded the OSOW project. When he was cleaning out the house, his asthma worsened, which led to his death on 9th of January ,2016. His great-grandfather was Kaishu Katsu, and one of his ancestors was Yoshinobu Tokugawa. He was tasked to guard the relics of the Kaishu clan which would then be taken over by Ota-ku and will be displayed at the " Katsu Kaishu Museum'', and it is scheduled to be opened in 2018. His supporters created a General Incorporated Associations in memory of Yoshikuni Katsu, and thanks to them these relics will be exhibited in the near future. Likewise, Yoshikuni's collection of books, which showcases the cultural exchanges between Japan and the Netherlands, is entrusted to us. There is a plan to bring the books to the Netherlands and to open a library as a base for interaction between Japan and Europe. This project entails a lot of money and effort, but I would like to work on this project steadily and gradually despite the obstacles. Thank you very much.

P.S. This picture shows my mom and me in front of the tea ceremony room of her house a long time ago. Our NPO is located in this house.

遅ればせながら、新年のご挨拶を申し上げます。 年末は母の体調不良に際しあたたかいコメントや個別のメッセージ、ご来訪、お心のこもった品々を誠にありがとうございました。昨年もみなさんに支えられていることを折にふれ感じた年でした。 また昨年はかねてからのささやかな夢であるOne Sky, One Worldプロジェクトが動き出した年でもあり、大事な仲間の勝芳邦さんを失ってしまった年でもありました。京都で立ち上げたNPO法人の理事で、日欧交流の事業を担ってくれていた勝さんは、科学と芸術の双方に造詣が深く語学堪能で、OSOWプロジェクトのコンセプトを英文と和文で寄せてくれました。 勝さんが自宅の荷物を整理中、持病の喘息が悪化し、そのまま帰らぬ人となってしまったのが昨年1月9日。彼の高祖父様は勝海舟、曾祖父様は徳川慶喜で、彼が命をかけて守り続けてきた海舟の遺品等がどうなるか大きな課題でしたが、関係者、とりわけ「一般社団法人勝芳邦記念海舟協会」の皆さんのご尽力により、海舟関連の遺品は大田区が引き取り、2018年開館予定の勝海舟ミュージアムで管理、展示されることになりました。他方、勝さんの遺した膨大な書籍のコレクション(ダンボール箱約400箱)について、彼の日蘭・日欧文化交流に対する思いを受け継ぎ、私たちにその有効利用が託されることになりました。大田区が保管している所蔵の書籍をいずれはオランダに運び、日蘭・日欧交流の拠点としてささやかな文庫を開設する構想はあるのですが、人手も予算もほとんどない中でのスタート。暗中模索の感が強いのですが、息長く地道に取り組んでいきたいと考えています。 本年もどうぞよろしく願い申し上げます。


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