Women Lead: Mari Yoko Hara

Author: Brett Beasley

“All roads lead to Rome,” the saying goes. And in Yoko Hara’s case, the road to Rome began 6,000 miles away — on a dairy farm in Japan.

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Hara’s mother, an American from Illinois, met her father while traveling. The couple raised Hara and their two other children on Kyushu, the warm, lush island that makes up Japan’s rural southern tip. Apart from the English she learned from her mother alongside her native Japanese, Hara had little connection to the Western world.

In high school, though, she began reading about art and architecture and became determined to see the masterpieces of the European Renaissance for herself.

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