The claims of contemporary art cannot be ignored in any vital scheme of life. The art of today is that which really belongs to us: it is our own reflection. In condemning it we but condemn ourselves. We say that the present age possesses no art: who is responsible for this? It is indeed a shame that despite all our rhapsodies about the ancients, we pay so little attention to our own possibilities. Struggling artists, weary souls lingering in the shadow of cold disdain! In our self-centered century, what inspiration do we offer them? The past may well look with pity at the poverty of our civilization; the future will laugh at the barrenness of our art. We are destroying the beautiful in life.

Okakura Kakuzō