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President’s Message
Newsletter "SEI WORLD" 2016 Vol. 465

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

The Pleasure of Appreciating the Arts

The other day, I visited the Sen-oku Hakuko Kan museum in Shishigatani, Kyoto. This is a museum for preserving and displaying artworks collected by the Sumitomo clan, and I have visited the facility a number of times before. A special exhibition was being held on the theme of “Spring,” giving me a refreshing time to appreciate utensils for tea ceremony, paintings and calligraphy works, and craft products such as lacquer works and mother-of-pearl works.

When I was young, I was more of a sports enthusiast, but I developed great interest in paintings during the seven years I lived in the U.K. from 1985. One of the important responsibilities of the president of a group company located in a foreign country is taking care of executive managers visiting the country. The Chairman then, Mr. Masao Kamei, enjoyed visiting art museums despite his busy business trip schedules. I used to accompany him to art galleries and museums, making it inevitable that I would learn about artists and their techniques. It seems that my interest in the arts grew through that process.

Needless to say, the fine arts and other creative ventures inspire us in a wide variety of ways, such as healing, encouragement, and sometimes sadness. It has occurred to me that such inspirations may be similar to how we feel when watching first-rate athletes immerse themselves completely in their sports.

The Rio de Janeiro Olympics will finally be held this August. Although it might not be appropriate to compare athletes with artworks, I am looking forward to many exceptional skills being demonstrated and records broken on the world stage.

Masayoshi Matsumoto President & CEO

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