My Life in Japanese Art and Gardens
From Entrepreneur to Connoisseur : the Autobiography of Adachi Zenko, Founder of the Adachi Museum of ArtBook - 2009
"True to my zodiac, I'm a reckless, charging, wild boar kind of man. Rushing ahead without looking right or left has often left me with honorable--or maybe not so honorable--scars on my shins and shoulders."--Adachi Zenko
In his own words, Adachi Zenko (1899-1990) tells how a scrappy and impoverished boy from rural Japan turned the profits from his flair for daring and dealmaking into a world-class museum and garden. A poor student, bullied in school, the gregarious Adachi learned to seize on every opportunity that came his way. He began as a lowly coal hauler and, after a short stint in the military--aided by his ready, practiced smile--built a series of businesses in Osaka. Always the opportunist, during WWII he sold the army swords while buying up timberland for the expected postwar boom. He was a rice broker, a textile wholesaler, and a real estate man. He went to jail (unjustly). He had close friends who both loved and betrayed him.
In the end, Adachi always pursued his three unshakeable passions: art, women, and Japanese gardens. When he was seventy, he fulfilled a lifelong dream by founding the Adachi Museum of Art. With 500,000 visitors per year, today it boasts one of Japan's best Nihonga and ceramics collections amidst a spectacular garden rated by Sukiya Living as "the finest in Japan."
Lively, refreshingly frank, and full of insights into the uniquely Japanese pursuit of business and pleasure, this book presents a full-blooded portrait of a creative, vigorous entrepreneur.