The Matsuoka Magic Book Heritage Foundation – the first physical meeting in 3 years!

The Matsuoka Magic Book Heritage Foundation Board met at Phoenix House in Tokyo today – the first physical meeting in 3 years! Photo shows Yuko Matsuoka Harris with Koichiro Matsuura, former Director General of UNESCO and other Board members. Mr Matsuura was interested in developing cooperation with Magic Libraries Foundation in South-East Asia, including the training of young translators of childrens’ books, following the recent successful pilot training seminar in Khao Yai, Thailand, and in the Philippines. He expressed support for work to preserve and develop the cultures of indigenous peoples through languages, books and training of translators, referring to the experiences of Ainu people in Japan and the Maori culture in New Zealand. Prior to his election as UNESCO Director General, Mr Matsuura chaired the UNESCO World Heritage Committee which selects cultural and natural sites for the World Heritage List.  He was particularly interested in the plans of Robert and Yuko Harris for the Chateau de St Germain in Burgundy, France, to become a centre for East-West cultural exchanges.

Mr Matsuura was an early reader of the draft of Dancing before Storms. 

Author Robert Harris presented him with a copy containing the inscription:

To Matsuura Sensei

“Since wars begin in the minds of men – and women – it is the minds of men – and women – that the defences of peace must be constructed”. This challenge is never-ending. Such is the lesson of history”. 

Sensei means ‘honored teacher’. The constitution of UNESCO begins with the first sentence above; – and women – has been added.