Yasuhiro Ishimoto


Yasuhiro Ishimoto (Japanese-American, 1921-2012)

Yasuhiro Ishimoto was born in San Francisco and raised in Kochi City, Japan. In 1939, due to concerns of him being drafted, he returned to the US where he studied agriculture at the University of California (1940-42). In 1944, after a war time internment in Colorado, he moved to Chicago. He began to study architecture at Northwestern University in 1946 when he met photographer Harry Shigeta and took up photography seriously. Two years later Ishimoto transferred to the Institute of Design where he studied with Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Gordon Coster(1948-52). In 1961 he returned to Japan (Tokyo), where he lived out the remainder of his years. Ishimoto showed his devotion to his adopted city, Chicago, in his book, Chicago, Chicago (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha, 1969). This book is often regarded as Ishimoto’s most personal statement – his bold use of contrast, the design of the frame, and the influence of his studies in architecture define his Chicago. Ishimoto published many books and exhibited widely throughout Japan and the US. In 1999 he was the subject of a career retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ishimoto died at the age of 90 after being hospitalized following a stroke in 2012.