This lecture programme began as one of three events planned to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Ruskin Library of Tokyo, the others being a 'Ruskin Symposium' in Tokyo and the publication of 'Ruskin's Letters' in the Mikimoto Collection.
As part of Lancaster University's Ruskin Programme, this special lecture was set up in memory of Ryuzo Mikimoto, a Japanese man who devoted his life to studying and collecting the work of John Ruskin. Instead of keeping the wealth he inherited from his father, Kokichi Mikimoto a.k.a. the 'Pearl King', Ryuzo used it to found the Ruskin Library of Tokyo in 1934. He filled it with his collection of Ruskin's works that he collected on his trips to England.
This lecture programme began as a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the library's re-opening in 1984, which was done by Ryuzo's family years after his death. Its first lecture, 'Ruskin To-Day', was held on 24 October 1995 and given by James S. Dearden (then Curator of the Ruskin Galleries at Bembridge School). In the late 2000s, it became an annual event thanks to a generous donation from the Trustees of the Ruskin Library of Tokyo to the Ruskin Programme.