Founder Mihoko Koyama

A Seeker of Beauty

Born in Osaka in 1910, Mihoko Koyama was raised in a household that treasured Japanese seasonal events and customs. After graduating from an all-girls high school, Koyama was driven by her artistic aspirations to enter the Jiyu Gakuen Girls’ School in Tokyo. During her time there, the Christian-influenced idea that we are born in this world to serve humanity left a strong impression on Koyama. Her life on campus also taught her the importance of life learning and of independence combined with collaboration. These principles and attitudes would remain cornerstone ideas for the rest of her life.

The next milestone in her life was meeting Mokichi Okada (1882 – 1955), a philosopher and spiritual leader who later became her life teacher. Okada held that the true nature of civilization lies in the realm of beauty—the realm of art. Under his tutelage, Koyama devoted herself to a life of faith, ultimately founding the spiritual organization, Shinji Shumeikai.

Under the influence of Okada’s ideas, Koyama came to believe that finding and experiencing objects of beauty could exalt the spirit and bring beauty to the world at large. This conviction led her to devote her life to world peace and happiness.

Special exhibit commemorating 100th anniversary of founder’s birth

Milestones in the Life of Mihoko Koyama

Born in Osaka
Studies under Mokichi Okada
Founds Shinji Shumeikai
Meets architect I.M. Pei
Starts planning museum
Creates Miho Museum
Passes away at age 93