Isamu Noguchi
Shoji Sadao


Isamu Noguchi, With "Brilliance" At The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, New York. 1985

©Shigao Anza, By Courtesy Of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation Inc.

Actually, I met Isamu through Bucky. I was working with Bucky in his office in North Carolina and one day he asked me "do you know Isamu Noguchi?" And I said "I know the name but I've never met him". It just so happened that there was going to be the Philadelphia Air Show in Philadelphia in 1954. I'd been working with Bucky on one of his portable air-liftable lightweight structures and it was going to be lifted up off an aircraft carrier anchored in the Delaware River and towed in front of the audience at the Philadelphia Air Show. He said "Noguchi and his wife Shirley Yamaguchi are going to be there, would you like to come along?" so I said "Of course". Because I'd worked on the dome and I was very fascinated to be able to meet Isamu. So we went up there and Isamu and Shirley came down from New York and of course she was a very famous movie-actress and so she was surrounded by news men and reporters. They weren't paying much attention to Isamu. I noticed that he seemed to be upset and not too happy about the situation and I finally asked him "Is there something wrong?" He said "Well these reporters, they keep referring to me as Mr. Yamaguchi". Anyway, that was the beginning of my association with him, he asked me, if; when I come to New York, would I please give him a call because he'd like to speak to me and see me. So I did go the following week. We had dinner together and as conversation went on he said "I think we could work together. Why don't you stay in touch with me?" And so I did. It was the summer of about 55/56; I moved to New York and got in touch with him. I was working in an architectural office but evenings and weekends I would stay in touch with him. He had various projects going on...


Billy Rose Sculpture Garden At The Jerusalem Museum, Israel, 1960 - 1965

©Isamu Noguchi, By Courtesy Of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation Inc.

...and the first project that I assisted him with was the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden in Israel, and on that project I did a good bit of the drafting and I worked with him and actually went to Israel on a couple of trips with him. He found a site. At that time I really didn't know him that well.

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