Yoko Nakamura, the director of Gekkoso Gallery, first visited the Soviet Union in 1969 convinced that the country’s art must be worth exploring. ‘The music, literature and theatre of the Soviet Union are all excellent. There cannot be poor painting in a country where the arts are so highly developed.’ A year later the gallery held the first selling exhibition of Soviet art in Japan, these continued annually for over ten years and visited Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo. Nakamura was involved in numerous enterprises to promote the Soviet Union in Japan. She published a quarterly art magazine in Japan in association with the Ministry of Culture and the Union of Artists of the USSR, and organised a huge retrospective of Soviet and Russian Painting which included over 600 works from the State Tretyakov Gallery, including Ivan Shishkin's Rye Fields and Tair Salakhov's Portrait of Aidan.