Rand Castile, a curator of Asian arts who was compared with Sherman Lee, died May 16. He was 78. I came here in 1968 because he and his wife, Sondra Myers, sponsored me.

I met Rand a year earlier in Kyoto, because of James Byars. Later an internationally renowned conceptual artist, of whom Rand once said, “If I were not convinced he is a genius, I would think he is a madman,” Byars was, when I first met him, an eccentric American. He walked about in a tuxedo, wearing a Lincolnesque top hat and a red rose in his lapel, occasionally handing out large, scarlet square envelopes he held under his arm. Opening one, you found a smaller envelope, say, blue. Open that one, you found an even smaller one, say, white. They were all made by a famous Japanese paper craftsman, says Shinobu Sakagami, who has just published a book, “James Lee Byars: Days in Japan.”

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