He traveled to Osaka. After working for a coal/charcoal wholesaler, he started his own firm in good earnest. Adachi returned to Yasugi for marriage and opened his firm in charcoal venturing, the beginning of the Adachi Conglomerate. He had extremes of fortune, ups and downs, frequent changes of commodities, from grains and textiles to hardware and swords manufacturing. He worked at many different side jobs such as automobiles, real estate, financing, all which helped to produce synergism.
While developing his taste for arts, he started to purchase Master Taikan Yokoyama’s (1868-1958) artwork to which he was personally attracted. I believe he bought them as an alternative to mortgage and insurance, as they were actually sold whenever necessary. But the accumulation of artwork, his treasure trove, should have encouraged his ambitions not only to create an art museum but also the museum garden.
I planned to visit Adachi for a long time but did not make it until this summer. For one reason, it took me a while to find where it is located. JR Yasugi Station (famous for Yasugi folk song of loach scooping with a bamboo basket) is the closest station where I waited for the first courtesy shuttle bus in the morning. The bus was packed. I asked the driver how far he was driving. His answer was 15 km. To the west on the San-in Road toward Matsue and south along the River Iinashi, merging with Hii-River (supposedly the raging river personified as an 8-headed, 8-tailed serpent tamed by God Susanoo per the Kojiki, the Legendary History of the old Japan).
At Furukawa-cho, about 20 big luxury buses were ahead of us offloading passengers. They were all Chinese visitors, showing their passports at the ticket counter. I checked in my knapsack while waiting then followed the hordes of Chinese tourists. Adachi was reported to be concerned about the annual visitor declining down to 10,000 visitors after the initial visitor rush. Were he still alive, he would have been all smiles to see a huge number of Chinese tourists. It started raining but luckily visitors observed each garden gallery through wide screen glass windows.
Authentic stones used for the dry gardens are from Totteri Sajigawa Stones, and Osakabe River stones, on the border of Tottori and Okayama.
It seems Adachi lived inside the museum upon completion until his death 20 years later. The original landscape was designed by Kinsaku Nakane, President of Osaka University of Art. The landscaping is indeed spectacular - acres of meticulously arranged rocks, moss, trees, and sand set against an unspoiled mountain backdrop, and for good measure, a waterfall in the distance.
Adachi Art Museum now enjoys its honorific title as Taikan Yokoyama Art Museum because of its awesome possessions of Taikan’s master artwork. Visitors should be thrilled to spot so many Taikan’s Mt. Fuji, Sunrise in the Ocean, a timeless child clad in rags called “innocence”, and may wonder why such Taikan’s exhibits were made possible. Zenko’s personal attachments came to fruition. Here’s to the long cherished zeal and obsession of Zenko Adachi which has finally found the moment of his life endeavors. “Glory to your home! Glory to your home!”