YAMANA Ayao was born in 1897 in Hiroshima Prefecture. In 1916, he enrolled at the atelier of AKAMATSU Rinsaku, and in 1923 he joined Platon Publishing as a designer and illustrator. In 1929, YAMANA transferred to the Shiseido Design Department where he contributed to the marketing of exquisite cosmetic products and played a decisive role on shaping the perception of Shiseido products. Later, he started working of Nihon Kobo founded by NATORI Yonosuke. In 1947, YAMANA was appointed a professor at the Department of Design at Tama Art School (now Tama Art University). He served as the first chairman of the Japanese Advertisement Art Association. He died in 1980, aged 82.

The 2nd edition of our magazine, Hanga Shoshi, is dedicated to ISOZAKI Arata and YAMANA Ayao. After he died, retrospective exhibitions have nearly exclusively focused on YAMANA’s refined work for Shiseido, but we wanted to draw attention to his illustrations that were published in journals such as Joshi, Sunday Everyday, Jewel or Ryoki that are ripe with a cool and clear eroticism. His line drawings for the novels of EDOGAWA Ranpo, YAMADA Futaro, or KAYAMA Shigeru prove his extraordinary sense of balance, working only with a pen. In an age where graphic design and illustration is dominated by the usage of computers, a talent such as Yamana’s will probably not emerge again any time soon.


"Hanga Shoshi Toki-no-Wasuremono" Vol.2 ISOZAKI Arata / YAMANA Ayao

32.3×26.2cm, 28 pages
Silkscreen, unbound, hot-stamped cover

Edition A: Limited edition of 35, includes 4 copperplate prints by ISOZAKI Arata, 1 woodcut print based on the blocks of YAMANA Ayao and 1 silkscreen print

Edition B: Limited edition of 100, includes 1 copperplate print by ISOZAKI Arata and 1 silkscreen print by YAMANA Ayao

"Ex Libris"

Date of original print unknown (printed later in 1999)
Woodblock print
Stamped with artist's stamp from bereaved family
Included in Edition A

"Title Unknown"

Original work made in 1928 (silkscreen printed in 2000)
Silkscreen reproduction
Stamped with artist's stamp from bereaved family
Included in Edition A/B


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No.326)    Illustrated Book - Toki-no-Wasuremono Original Prints Exhibition    1/6 - 1/23

Web Exhibition - Exhibited works and gallery views

Spring Exhibition: From the Collection    1/5 - 1/8