Japanese master of flower arrangement, sculptor and occasional calligraphic painter. Born in Tokyo. At the age of 27 founded the Sogetsu Institute in Tokyo, the most famous modern school of flower arrangement (ikebana) in Japan; also gave demonstrations of this art throughout the world. The practice of using branches of trees, roots etc., in the flower arrangements led to his also making sculptures using forms already partly modelled by nature. First exhibited as a sculptor at the Bridgestone Museum, Tokyo, 1957. His sculpture became known in the West largely through Michel Tapié, who organised his first European one-man exhibition at the Galerie Stadler, Paris, 1959. Made sculptures carved from stone or wood, covered sometimes with beaten metal, or embedded with pieces of coloured mosaic; the forms usually writhing and Baroque. Died in Tokyo.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.716-17