So many people helped me publish this book of drawings.

I especially I owe a lot to the Maizuru Returnee Memorial Hall and National Fellowship to Commemorate Returnees at Maizuru. In addition, the late Torajiro Nakazawa, who was a member of the oral history project for the Association of Detainees in Siberia was a tremendous help. He offered his time to write explanations for the drawings, sometimes staying overnight with me. New members also helped me.

It is a fact that the former detainees in Siberia are aging. It is no wonder because half a century has already passed since World War II. However, because of that fact, I am impelled to express the need to keep the memory of our days of awfully difficult suffering alive at this time.

I have already completed hundreds of drawings of my Siberian experience, but I am determined to keep facing the canvas throughout the rest of my life in order to continue the work. I believe that is what I can do to rest the souls of my comrades, and it is also the mission I was given as a survivor.

The exhibitions that occurred in Russia, taking place from 1992 to 1993, were like a dream. Since the opportunity itself was something I could not imagine, I went there risking my life. In Vradivostok, where the first exhibition took place, Japan's Prime Minister Uno and the Russian Governor of the region were present, and the event was reported extensively by the media. I was so amazed at the size of the big exhibition that had taken place, and by the number of visitors who came one after another. I could not imagine such an event taking place even in Japan. The press conference at the last exhibition, in the Museum of Comsomolsk-na-Amure, was full of tension. "There is no way the Russians would do such nasty things to other nations!" " These drawings are intended to prosecute!" Among them, there was a comforting utterance by Mr. Korolenko, a member of the artist league. He said, "We should view these drawings as artistic works that transcend rancor from the war."

After the exhibitions in Russia ended, I was also offered opportunities of the exhibitions in five places in Japan sponsored by the Special Foundation for a Commemorating Project to Promote Peace and the Detainees in Siberia Nation-wide Association..

I truly have a deep appreciation for the many people who made valuable efforts to insure that these exhibitions came about. I should really inscribe all the names of the individuals who supported me, but there are so many of them that it is not possible to mention everyone. To each one of them, I would like to express my heart-felt appreciation.

Thank you so much!

January 1994

Isamu Yoshida