Dear Friends and Supporters, to date the Sainsbury Institute quarterly e-magazine has been issued four times, concluding a full circle, and we are delighted to enter the second year of its publication. Our Friends scheme, which started around the same time, has also reached its first birthday. I would like to thank our friends and supporters on this occasion as we can only keep on moving forward strongly in our research and outreach with your interest in what we do and your generous support for that cause. In this issue Sir Hugh Cortazzi, former UK Ambassador to Japan, tells us how his involvement with Japan started and evolved through the decades. Sir Hugh and Lady Cortazzi have been our patrons since the early years of the Institute. Our ‘friend’ Audry Talks, and also neighbor in the Close, shares her memories of Japan where she spent several years of her childhood during the pre-war with her family. Nicole and Simon had a very busy summer researching in Japan. You can read about their visits to Nagaoka, Niigata where they were welcomed by the Mayor of the city, offered lectures and engaged with the children. There is a related article about the Niigata Prefectural Museum of History, a museum focusing on the rich Jomon period (10,000-300 BC) of that region. Last but not least, our librarian, Hirano-san, is introducing a mystery book in the Library donated by Sir Hugh. I hope you will enjoy this issue.