About the Artist

In 1945, at the age of 15, one of the youngest soldiers of the Japanese Air Force, I heard the news of the surrender 20 miles northeast of Hiroshima, where I was stationed. Etched in my memory is that day’s totally blue sky, and later, Hiroshima lit by moonlight, spread out like gravel, wrapped in the smell of dead bodies.

G.I.’s riding in jeeps, chewing gum, throwing cigarettes and chocolate to the children running after them epitomized democracy for us. They symbolized the beginning of a new world. It was a miserable and confusing time. Our good/bad, right/wrong value system was upside down. On an empty stomach I searched for something to believe in. It was serendipity that I saw an art book and arbitrarily opened it to a Cezanne still life—a blue vase and a few apples arranged on a table. It electrified my whole being. Here was something I could trust which would never betray me. I made up my mind to be an artist like Cezanne. Although I could never achieve his greatness, I could put my own worth on canvas and so dedicate my life.

The Artist

Yoshi at home

In 1966 I left Japan to fulfill a passionate dream to see and confirm the world with my own eyes. My first stop was the United States. After visiting many museums in the US and Mexico, I came to New York in 1967, met the woman I would love and marry and whose children would become my children. My work was exhibited in one-man and group shows throughout the country, and my first one-man show in a New York gallery was mounted the following year.

In 1971 I visited the art in 53 countries, then returned to Japan, finally completing my world round trip. After traveling with a refreshed eye for two months in my birth country, I returned to New York. To do any creative work in Japan you must do it within the framework of a strong social consensus rather than one’s own vision. In the US nature is varied and strongly defined, enabling me to extract its vivid forms and vibrant colors. The United States is an ideal place to search for my identity and to work out both the confrontations and the harmony of the blend of the two cultures, East and West.

But during my trip I had begun to doubt the trend of modern art and the lack of universal aesthetic values, and did not want to be part of it. I couldn’t ignore this dilemma, continued to paint, but stopped exhibiting. I began to write to crystallize my thinking. This was an unexpected solution. I published 13 novelettes and five novels, receiving three literary awards in Japan, but it took more than 20 years to resolve my dilemma.

In December, ’92 I began exhibiting again through juried competitions. Since then I have been accepted in over 30 juried shows – New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York among them. Since 1993 I’ve had five one-man shows in NY and NJ, one in Kyushu, Japan, my birth city, and one at the Burnett Gallery in Amherst, in October, 2001, my first in Massachusetts, my new home state. My second solo exhibit in Massachusetts in September and October, 2002 was in the offices of Senator Stan Rosenberg in the Boston State House.

I try to express in my paintings the visualization of the variety of human spiritual and emotional life—the sadness, anger, hope, joy and beauty. I use both painting and writing to explore and express my inner world and the enormous diversity of the world outside me.