Japan Society was founded on May 19, 1907 by a group of prominent New York business people and philanthropists, many of whom shaped the policies of exchange and collaboration that guided the Society until the outbreak of World War II. After the war, the stewardship of John D. Rockefeller 3rd from 1952 to 1978 led to a unified vision, a firm financial foundation, and a revitalized mission that continues to inspire and sustain the organization today. Built on land donated by Rockefeller, Japan Society's building was designed by Junzo Yoshimura and opened in 1971 as the first building by a leading Japanese architect in New York City. Located near the United Nations on 47th Street and First Avenue, activities at Japan Society are set against a stunning backdrop of indoor gardens, a reflecting pool and a waterfall. Furnished with a superb collection of furniture by woodworker George Nakashima, the facilities include a 262-seat theater, art gallery, language center, library, conference facilities and over three floors of administrative space. The elegance and simplicity of Yoshimura's original vision has been preserved even as the building has been enhanced by a substantial renovation completed in 1998.