Four men from Kayangel were given artwork of their late relatives on March 11th at the Kayangel State Office.
During the exchange, each man expressed their happiness and gratitude towards Akira Anzai who presented them with the artwork.
Prior to the exchange, Anzai reached out to a Japanese Woman living in Palau by the name of Mayumi Fuji to help track down the families of the ones that are in the artwork.
Proven to be a hard task for her, Mayumi got help from Lerry Ruluked and in the end, they were able to find out who these people are.
Mayumi said that this task was difficult, but she’s happy that these men from Kayangel got a copy.
Even Hisako Maruki, the niece of Toshi Maruki and current owner of the copyright of her aunty’s artwork, was happy that these men from Kayangel got a copy of the artwork that depicted their families.
These artwork were done by the late Japanese artist Toshi Maruki, who lived at Kayangel as well as Angaur during the 1940s and during her time there she drew several sketches of life in the islands, some of which are featured at the Belau National Museum.
Maruki’s artwork was not only admired by the Kayangel natives, but also by the late Mr. Yoji Kurata who also lived in Palau during the 1940’s.
Kurata found great value in Maruki’s artwork for folklore studies in Palau. He was in the process of writing a book called “The South Sea Islands Portrayed by Toshi Maruki, however, Kurata passed away November 2019 and could not complete the book.
This project has not died.
In fact Akira Anzai who works as a reporter for a newspaper in Japan is taking on the task by being one of the co-writers of this book.
Once the book is complete, it will be available in English and Japanese. Kayangel State will have a copy of the book so that kids from Kayangel can read and learn about their state during the 1940’s time period.