As head of the Arts and Monument Division in Japan, Lee had the unique opportunity to examine Japanese cultural monuments, including the rarely seen art treasures preserved in the Shoso-in repository in Nara. This experience informed his establishment of the standards of quality required for art acquisition.
This exquisite Chinese mirror-a rare surviving specimen of its type-was acquired from Japan, where there has been a long tradition of collecting Chinese art. Such mirrors were used as imperial gifts in the Tang court and imported as exotic, luxury items in Nara Japan. A comparable example is now kept in the Shoso-in repository.