Kajiwara Koho was born in a mountain village in Oita Prefecture. He loved
drawing and crafts so much that a family friend suggested he study bamboo
with Iwao Kounsai. That apprenticeship lasted a decade.
He was first admitted to the Beppu City Art Exhibition in 1965 and to the
Japan Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition 14 years later. The association
granted him full membership in 1985 and the next year the Ministry of
Economy, Trade, and Industry recognized him as a Traditional Craft Arts
Among his many honors are the NHK's Chairman's Prize at the 38th Japan
Traditional Craft Arts Exhibition, the Oita Asahi Broadcasting Prize at the
40th Japan Traditional Craft Arts Seibu Exhibition and the presentation of
his work to President Chirac of France. In 2000, one of his pieces was
selected as a special gift of Oita Prefecture to the Emperor of Japan.
"A part of my brain," he says, "is constantly thinking about the next work
no matter what I am doing. I try to express the natural beauty of Japan
through bamboo. If you are the type of person who does not think anything
upon seeing a little flower growing along the street, you should forget
about becoming an artist."
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