Watari Shinichiro is the chairman of trading house Cornes & Company. Shinichiro has a master’s degree in architecture from Washington University. He and his wife, Cissy are popular members on the social circuit and supporters of numerous local charities. His wife Cissy worked for 10 successful years as Chairman of the board for the Hong Kong Ballet Co. and is now with the Hong Kong Arts Centre. She has used her passion and focus to bring these institutions to new heights and set a course for future respective development.
Shinichiro and his wife built a "private" art museum in Japan on the island of Amami Oshima, a popular tourist area, famous for cloth dying and scenic sights. The function of the museum is to stimulate the local economy, engage in workshops and learning for kids, that are done via invitation from the museum.
Joy Brown, a friend of John Borden Evans attended school in Kobe, Japan with John's wife Beth Neville, where they met Shinichiro. In the summer of 2018 during a class reunion at Joy Browns home in the US, Shinichiro noticed two of John's paintings on the wall of Joy's home. He actually flew down to Charlottesville in the morning, looked at John's collection and fellow back to NY that same afternoon. From the paintings he had seen, he selected five to buy. These five paintings now hang in the museum on Amami Oshima island in Japan. The paintings Shinichiro purchased now hang in the museum.