Salamanca Province News Paper: LA GACETA, printed on May 18 (Friday).
The Japanese painter Toshima Yasumasa depicted like Velázquez, and read Unamuno incessantly.
—The artworks of Toshima, which his supporter Shigyo Sosyu has heartily embraced his adoration, will be exhibited at Spanish-Japanese Cultural Center until June 15. (Salamanca)
Written by Begoña.F.O.
Toshima came to Spain in 1974, and he has lived in the transition period to democracy after Franco’s death. This social upheaval has also brought change to the people’s looks. He has lived nearly 30 years in our country, and not only fascinated by Velázquez, he had been fascinated by Miguel de Unamuno and incessantly read his literary works.
In fact, in the 1970s, Unamuno’s literary works were already read in Japan. Ms. Abe Misaki, curator of this remarkable Exhibition, explains that the literary works of Unamuno, the president of Salamanca University, were available in Japan by excellent translation, and we could view them at Spanish-Japanese Cultural Center. Toshima mainly painted portraits of the people whom he met on the street. As this Exhibition shows, that Toshima was greatly influenced by Velázquez. The painter who passed away at 72 has said, “I wish to depict the common affection in the portrait…. depict human soul.”
Shigyo Sosyu, business person (born in 1950), himself is an author, poet and versatile person, was enchanted by the artworks of painter Toshima and also as a person, and resulted in establishing Memorial Gallery of Toshima Yasumasa. Business person and Painter shared the emotion of adoration to Unamuno. “We found ourselves on the same wavelength the moment we met.” Shigyo writes in the pictorial record of this Exhibition. And they became “Centennial buddy.” Their reverence to “Unamuno’s [Tragic Sense of Life] has created a whirlpool of empathy.I have sensed Don Quixote’s chivalry in Toshima’s art. It was also the chivalry of Unamuno himself. Passion given by Unamuno has fostered our comradeship, and it has given birth to his Memorial Gallery after he passed away. I think this Memorial Gallery is gifted from Unamuno. And I consider the passion to seek for eternity and pierce through its suffering has given birth to it.” Thus Mr. Shigyo concluded. At the Exhibition, the combination of Toshima’s leading works and Unamuno’s literary works are displayed.