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Times have certainly changed. Corporate art acquisition, once fueled by bubble-era prosperity, is now low down the list of boardroom priorities.

In a happier era, real-estate tycoon Seiji Matsuoka (1894-1989) was the entrepreneur responsible for amassing one of Japan’s finest corporate collections. The Matsuoka Museum in Tokyo is most renowned for its oriental treasures, including Chinese jade and ceramics, and Buddhist sculptures from India and Cambodia. But in his long life, Seiji proved that he had a discerning eye for a tasty piece of canvas as well.

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