Recent Major Gifts
Fresno State Alumnus Supports "Lethal Beauty" Exhibition
The Madden Library received a generous gift from Jim and Yuko Brumm to help fund "Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor," a spectacular exhibition of Japanese traditional swords, helmets, and armor, on view April 8 through June 24, 2011, in our Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery. Included in the display from the Clark Center for Japanese Art & Culture in Hanford are 60 objects from private and public collections worldwide that date from the 13th through 20th centuries.
"Lethal Beauty" is part of the Madden Library’s commitment to help fill a void created within the arts community when the Fresno Metropolitan Museum closed in 2010. We are thrilled about hosting this world-class exhibition in Fresno where it is finding a large and enthusiastic audience.
We are very pleased to have the opportunity to dedicate the exhibition and reception to Mr. Matsuo Tsuchida. The exhibition is partially underwritten in memory of Tsuchida by his daughter, Yuko Brumm, a classical piano teacher and potter, and her husband, Fresno State alumnus Jim Brumm, a lawyer and longtime executive with Mitsubishi International Corporation.
In recognition of their gift, this donor profile provides more information on the late Tsuchida and on Jim and Yuko Brumm.
MATSUO TSUCHIDA was born November 12, 1922, in Niigata, Japan, one of eight children in a large landholding family. He wanted to go to art school but his father was opposed to this, so he entered the Japanese Navy at age 18 and went to signalman’s school, serving in the South Pacific during World War II. At the end of the war he took a position as a government official, but felt stifled by the bureaucracy. In 1956 he set up his own business, beginning with a single gas station in Niitsu, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Over the years he built up the business to nine gas stations with over 60 employees.
Matsuo married Kisa Tsuchida in 1948. As she was one of five daughters, he was adopted into the family to carry on the family name, changing his name from Kobayashi to Tsuchida. They raised a son, Yutaka, who took over the family business after his father passed away in 2000, and a daughter, Yuko.
Tsuchida took his responsibilities as a business owner seriously, looking after and helping his employees and their families beyond his obligations as an employer. His community was important to him and he became a well-respected civic leader. A Zen Buddhist, he was a deeply religious man. He enjoyed reading, music, golf, and hiking.
He admired Tokugawa Ieyasu, the great warrior and statesman who founded the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan from 1600 until 1868. Every night he instructed his three grandsons from an early age in the importance of leading a principled life and had them memorize Ieyasu’s precepts.
In all aspects of his life, Tsuchida exemplified the ethics of a samurai—wisdom, benevolence, and courage, and embodied all of its characteristics—justice, politeness, veracity, honor, loyalty, and self-control. He was a warm-hearted and generous man who had a unique approach to life and often challenged it.
Matsuo Tsuchida deeply loved art with an appreciation of both Japanese and Western art. Nothing would have pleased him more than to have an exhibition of samurai art held in his honor.
YUKO TSUCHIDA BRUMM was born April 29, 1952, in Niigata, Japan. She grew up loving music and art and began piano lessons at age 5. She continued studying piano seriously, traveling six hours each way to Tokyo for lessons once a month. She enrolled in classical piano studies at Tokyo College of Music and graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. She taught piano in Tokyo until 1988 when she moved to New York. She married Jim Brumm in April 1991 in New York. She currently works at a Japanese non-profit organization, Rinri Center for Ethical Studies, and also makes pottery.
JAMES E. BRUMM was born in 1942 in San Antonio, Texas, and moved to Fresno as a child. He earned his B.A. in political science from Fresno State in 1965 and his LL.B. from Columbia University School of Law in 1968, when he was admitted to the New York Bar.
The year he graduated from law school, Brumm began his professional career in New York as an associate at Reid & Priest, a law firm known for its industry experience in the electric utility sector. In 1973 he became an associate at Logan, Okamoto & Takashima in Tokyo, Japan, which led to his employment in 1977 at Mitsubishi International Corporation. Since then, he has served Mitsubishi as General Counsel; Executive Vice President; member of the Board of Directors; and Executive Advisor (2008 to the present). He was a member of the Mitsubishi Corporation Board of Directors in Japan for seven years and is a member of their CSR and Environmental Affairs Advisory Committee. He served as President and Director of the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas and was a Trustee of the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa.
Since 1999, Brumm has been a member of the Board of Directors of Tembec, Inc., Canada, where he served as chair of the Corporate Governance and Human Resources Committee, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Brunei LNG, S.B., Brunei. In 2007-08 he was Co-Chair of the Corporate Counsel Forum, International Bar Association (IBA), and from 2002-09, he was a member of the IBA Council. At the IBA, Brumm was one of seven members of the Task Force on International Multijurisdictional Commercial Practice. A member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, he has chaired the International Trade Committee; the Task Force on Legal Services; and is currently a member of the International Human Rights Committee.
In addition to these many accomplishments, Brumm chairs the Board of the American Bird Conservancy; serves on the Board of Forest Trends, an international environmental non-profit that works to increase the value of forests to society; and is a member of the Board of the International Crane Foundation.
Charles & Janice Bell Give Library American Indian Baskets
The architects for the new Madden Library were inspired by American Indian basketry motifs, which they employed throughout the building. In September the Library received a most appropriate gift from Fresno State alumni Charles and Janice Bell of Arizona: five early 20th century Yokuts baskets from the Tulare region. They will be on display in the Library on a rotating basis. One of the cooking baskets displays a step design similar to the one used in the granite pattern on our entry floor. Other items are a burden basket, winnowing basket, seed beater, and two cooking sticks (used to lift hot rocks from the fire). Charles Bell's father ran the Fresno office of Swift & Co. One of his traveling salesmen collected American Indian baskets throughout the Southwest and convinced Bell's father that they would become valuable historic artifacts one day.
When he was a boy, Bell's family went on collecting trips and made friends with the basket makers. When his father offered to buy the cooking basket that now is in our collection, it was being used to cook a family meal of acorn porridge, which the Bells were invited to sample. The family said they couldn't sell the basket because they had nowhere else to put the acorn porridge. Bell's father gave them a pan he happened to have in the car to hold the remainder of the meal and he bought the basket. When they returned home, he assigned young Bell to wash the porridge out of the basket.
Charles Bell, a Fresno native, attended Fresno State for one year before he was called by the Navy to serve in WWII. After the war, he studied one more year here, then transferred to study engineering at UC Berkeley. While attending Fresno State, Charles was Freshman Class President and a member of Theta Chi fraternity.
Bell worked for Producers Cotton Oil Co. for 38 years, eventually serving as Senior Vice President for the Imperial Valley region of southern California and Arizona. He also was involved in the citrus industry and served as a member of the national Lemon Administrative Committee. In the 1980s, Bell was appointed to work for the U. S. Agency for International Development in Egypt, where he headed a team of economists that helped the Egyptian government privatize their cotton industry. Later, he was sent to Uzbekistan by the World Bank to assist with privatizing the cotton industry in that country.
His wife, Janice Polson Bell, was a 1949 Fresno State graduate in the School of Arts & Humanities. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta at Fresno State and she continues to be very involved with the sorority. Janice is a watercolor and mixed media artist who exhibits paintings professionally. She taught school in both California and Arizona.
The Bells have three grown sons and one daughter.