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Artist – Yoko Mitsuhashi

Artist Yoko Mitsuhashi

Artist Yoko Mitsuhashi

The lyrical illustrations of Yoko Mitsuhashi are as fresh today as when the gifted young Japanese artist began her career nearly fifty years ago.

Born in Tokyo in 1936, Yoko studied art and design at the city’s Women’s College for Fine Arts. After graduating in 1959, she first worked at the Nippon Design Center before moving to New York City in 1962.

There,  she joined her sister Ayako Mitsuhashi, who was established as a successful designer of women’s couture clothing. Yoko’s whimsical style soon attracted the attention of prestigious clients like NBC, Scholastic, Sesame Street, New York Magazine, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping, Kodansha, and Doubleday.

Yoko quickly gained visibility as a children’s book illustrator which later resulted in her selection as the artist to enliven The Serpent Prince, Tales from Northeastern Thailand.

In an article about Yoko, Print Magazine described her work as

“Decorative, graphically appealing, informative, detailed and brilliantly colored. Yoko Mitsuhashi’s illustrations of New York typify her radiant style and optimistic point of view as well as her feeling for both oriental and western design traditions…these monthly reports on life in New York cover a variety of topics from Halloween and Valentine’s Day to the wedding of a friend and a visit with Paul Davis. ”

Yoko Mitsuhashi in her New York studio.

Yoko Mitsuhashi in her New York studio.

For the historic 2010 edition of The Naga Prince, publisher Kent Davis of DatAsia Press comments:

“Securing Yoko’s work for this new unabridged edition of The Naga Prince was essential. Her art and her vision elevate these local Thai legends to the level of world culture. Her sensitivity to Thai culture amazed me, and her art makes these tales live again.”

Yoko’s final exhibition, “New Yoko,” took place at the Ayoama Design Space in Tokyo in 1990. The world lost the opportunity to enjoy new works due to her untimely death from cancer in 1993. But today, Yoko Mitsuhashi lives on through the imaginative  paintings and drawings she left behind.

Her style influenced a new generation of illustrators in both New York and Japan. Her original illustrations are rare and collectible and now admirers can obtain high quality limited edition prints from her website at www.yokomitsuhashiart.com

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