I had come to Japan in my role as the Globe’s art critic. I was on the job, learning about the state of the relationship between Japan and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. (The MFA has a sister museum in Nagoya; it also has a show of its Japanese masterpieces touring the country.) I had my head down. I never even saw Mount Fuji.
But thanks to the generosity of Anne Nishimura Morse, the MFA’s head of Japanese art, and her friend Peter Grilli, outgoing president of the Japan Society of Boston, I met some extraordinary people in those few days.