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Good News | Japan SetoNaikai Art Philanthropy Island gets on the list of the most worthwhile destinations of the New York Times


Japan SetoNaikai recently ranked seventh in the "52 Most Worthy Tourist Destinations in 2019" of the New York Times. SetoNaikai, has been built by the Philanthropy master of the China Global Philanthropy Institute, honorary consultant, former chairman and CEO of Benesse Holdings, a legal person of Philanthropy Consortium, chairman of Fukutake Consortium, and representative of Naoshima for Benesse Art Fair, Mr. Fukutake Soichiro, for 30 years. The New York Times describes SetoNaikai and its coastal areas as "the amalgamation of art and nature in the Japanese inland sea". It introduces the Setouchi Triennale, which will be held this year on several islands in Okayama prefecture and Kagawa prefecture, the main hall of Hiroshima Nuclear Explosion Information Museum, which will be reopened in April, and Setouchi Cruise Line Company (Hiroshima-ken, Onomichi City), which will launch the "guntû" luxury passenger ship in October 2017.



Many of the islands of SetoNaikai in Japan once prospered in industry, but the population lost sharply with the decline of industry. In some islands the resident population was even less than 100, and large areas of houses were empty or even deserted. Japanese art circle decided to launch "art salvation", inviting artists, designers and architects from all over the world to hold art exhibitions here. In 2010, they set up the Setouchi Triennale, which is held every three years on the stage of island groups. Setouchi Triennale combines art with commerce, culture and life to the utmost. Naoshima, which is full of works of artists such as Tadao Ando, Yayoi Kusama, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Otake Shinro, seems to be a huge artistic magnetic field that subverts reality and broadens thinking imagination, creating a new world in which one lives in harmony with nature, art and public welfare.


Mr. Fukutake, a philanthropist of the China Global Philanthropy Institute, is committed to the inland sea renaissance of Naoshima, Toshima and Inujima by means of art, nature and architecture. He has established the Fukutake Philanthropy Consortium (Fukutake Foundation) with his share income of Benesse Company, and has created the "Naoshima Model" in the field of global philanthropy, and has been awarded the honorary citizen of Naoshima.


Over the past 30 years, Mr. Fukutake has devoted a great deal of time, material resources and financial resources to environmental restoration in SetoNaikai. Mr. Fukutake summed up his experience of transformation in this way: In realizing local creation, we should fully respect the strength of local residents, resist excessive modernization in an artistic way, and upgrade the environment on the basis of local natural and historical traditions. At the same time, we should promote local tourism, catering and other regional cultures, and strive to make local areas a promising place through the joint efforts of local residents and external forces.


On the basis of art and philanthropic practice in Naoshima, Mr. Fukutake put forward the concept and mode of "Philanthropy Capitalism": The Fukutake family earned dividends through the stable ownership of Benesse shares, and then donated part of the dividend to the Fukutake Foundation, a philanthropy organization, to realize the philanthropy ideal. Fukutake consortium utilizes dividends and human capital from Benesse to promote its brand image through philanthropy efforts. The core of the concept of Philanthropy Capitalism lies in that the economy is a means to create a happy life and make people spiritually enriched and happy, rather than a purpose. The purpose is to develop a "cultural undertaking" to make people happier.


In 2017, Mr. Fukutake set up the "Fukutake Art Philanthropy Center" with the donation of the China Global Philanthropy Institute. He devoted himself to revitalizing the Chinese countryside by artistic means. He has provided experience for the "Peach Blossom Island Art Revitalizing Village" project initiated by Mr. Dong Fangjun from Dongfangjun Philanthropy Foundation and the government of Yiyuan County, Shandong Province. Mr. Fukutake hopes that home village will be rejuvenated with art through the practice of "Art Revitalizing Village" and art will enable local residents to rebuild their hope, self-confidence and pride in their home village.



Since 2017, China Global Philanthropy Institute has jointly organized two sessions of "Art Philanthropy and Social Service" Philanthropy Leaders Course with the Fukutake Philanthropy Consortium. Based on the concepts of "Philanthropy Capitalism" and "New Naoshima Model" of Mr. Fukutake, it has investigated the Islands of SetoNaikai, listened to Mr. Fukutake's lectures, and studied the concepts and practical experience of modern art philanthropy in depth.


In 2019, the 4th Setouchi Triennale will be held in April, July and September, spanning the spring, summer and autumn seasons. The Philanthropy Theme Fukutake class on "Art Philanthropy and Social Services" will continue to be held in the China Global Philanthropy Institute.



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