Graphic Designer, Visual Artist
1911 – 2009
Who was Chikabo Kumada?
Chikabo Kumada is a highly-regarded botanical artist, book illustrator, and author who may be to Japan and insects what James Audubon was to North America and birds. Kumada is often identified as a pioneer in the field of botanical art in Japan but he may be better known for the vibrantly-painted insects in the series of books titled "Kumada Chikabo’s World".
Born in 1911, the artist was just entering adolescence when the “Great Kanto Earthquake” virtually destroyed his hometown of Yokohama and the city of Tokyo on September 1, 1923. In all, approximately 140,000 lost their lives to the earthquake and the resulting fires.
Kumada began his career in the 1930s as a graphic designer. A deep interest in nature developed while a child grew stronger as a young adult and he quite the advertising business to create illustrated books, which he continued to do up until his death at the age of 98 on August 13, 2009.
- “Until my sixties, my life was just like I was swimming in the mud. It was in my seventies that the flowers began to bloom a little and the spring of youth began.”
- “ I’ve been doing this work for more than eighty years now, but for me it’s like I am writing reports for God. Like I’m showing what kind of place this planet called Earth is.”
- I believe that any living thing can be beautiful if you love it. Most mothers of small children hate insects. That’s why I draw insects larger than life on purpose. I do that so they can see what lovely eyes the insects have.
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"Chikabo Kumada." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Jan. 2021. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/chikabo_kumada>.