About Ikuo Hirayama

About Ikuo Hirayama

Career

To the world – Non-governmental ambassador of culture

Granted an audience with Pope Paul VI in the Vatican, he presents as a donation the works, “Lady Gracia Hosokawa” and “Buddhist Missionaries to the Ancient East.” On this occasion, he receives the Silver Medal of Honor of Saint Gregory the Great’s Knight.

He continued to take investigatory trips to various places around the world every year after 1966 not only for investigations but also to play a role as a “non-governmental ambassador” to promote various types of cultural exchanges between Japan and the respective countries. For example, he visited Vatican City to donate a work “Lady Gracia Hosokawa” by his mentor Seison Maeda, and he bequeathed his work “Buddhist Missionaries to the Ancient East” to the modern religious arts collections of the Vatican. He also had meetings with very important persons many times for cultural exchanges between Japan and China, attended solo exhibitions held in foreign countries, invited overseas artists to Japan at his own expense, and established the “Hirayama Scholarship.”
In later years, he showed leadership as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador in charge of world heritage sites, etc. to promote World Heritage registration of an ancient tomb in Koguryo, North Korea, and to preserve the giant Buddhist statues of Bamiyan in Afghanistan though the latter unfortunately were destroyed.

Granted an audience with Pope Paul VI in the Vatican, he presents as a donation the works, “Lady Gracia Hosokawa” and “Buddhist Missionaries to the Ancient East.” On this occasion, he receives the Silver Medal of Honor of Saint Gregory the Great’s Knight.

“Ikuo Hirayama’s The Silk Road” exhibition was held in five countries in the Middle East from December 1976 to April 1977. In the photo, he is creating a promotional poster at a venue in Teheran, Iran.

He was awarded the Commandeur at the opening ceremony of the exhibition. (1991)

With his wife Michiko at a venue of his exhibition held in the Guimet Museum in Paris

^