1918년12월 15일에 태어난 치히로는 14세에 유화와 스케치를 그리고 18세에 서예를 배웠으며 1949년에는 종이극 <엄마 이야기>(1949년)를 통해 화가로서 자립하는 계기를 가지게 됩니다. 그 후 서양의 수채화에 동양의 전통 회화 기법을 조화시킨 개성 넘친 기법으로 섬세한 표현을 실현해 냅니다.
볼로니아 국제아동도서전 그랑프리(1973), 라이프치히 국제도서전 동상(1974)을 비롯한 많은 수상력을 지닌 치히로는, 1973년 가을 암세포가 발견되어 이듬해 8월8일 간암으로 세상을 떠났습니다.
그녀는 평생 어린이를 테마로 하여 그림을 그렸습니다. 그러한 개성적인 활동은 모델 없이도 10개월 된 아기와 1살 난 아기의 차이를 그려 낼 정도였으며 현재 남아 있는 9,300여점의 치히로컬렉션에는 날카로운 화가의 눈과 확실한 실력으로 그린 어린이의 모든 모습이 담겨 있습니다.
치히로는 한평생 평화를 기원하였습니다. 그녀는 세계의 모든 어린이들의 행복과 평화를 간절히 바라는 마음에서 어린이와 꽃을 담은 많은 작품을 남겼습니다. 젊은 시절에 전쟁을 겪어야 했던 치히로는 작은 생명이 지닌 빛을 꾸준히 그림에 담아 내면서 평화의 소중함을 전하고자 하였습니다.

A Brief Chronology

1918 On December 15, Chihiro Iwasaki was born in Takefu, Fukui Prefecture. Moved to Tokyo the next year.
1933 Began to study sketching and oil painting under Saburosuke Okada.
1936 Graduated from high school. Had a painting accepted for the Shuyo Exhibition of Western-style Painting by Women Artists.
1937 Began to study calligraphy at the Fujiwara Kozei School.
1939 First marriage in spring. The couple went to Dailan, Manchuria. In winter, she was widowed and came back to Japan.
1942 Began to study oil painting again, this time under Tai Nakatani.
1944 In April, went to Manchuria with a women’s pioneer group. Returned to Japan in August as the war situation worsened.
1945 Suffered the destruction of her family home in one of the air raids that attacked Tokyo; took refuge at her grandmother’s home in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.
1946 Joined the Japan Communist Party in Nagano Prefecture. In spring, returned to Tokyo and studied art under Toshiko Akamatsu. Became a writer-illustrator for the Jinmin Shinbun (People’s Paper).
1949 Created and published a set of illustrated “paper-theater” storytelling panels called Okasan no Hanashi (The Story of a Mother), which won the Prize for the Minister of Education, Science and Culture in 1950.
1950 Married Zenmei Matsumoto.
1951 Birth of her son, Takeshi.
1952 Built a house in Nerima-ku, Tokyo (today the site of the Chihiro Art Museum Tokyo).
1956 Received the Juvenile Culture Award of the Shogakukan Publishing Co. for her book and magazine illustrations for young children. Created her first picture book Hitori de Dekiru yo (I Can Do It All by Myself).
1960 Created AIUEO no Hon (The Alphabet Book: A-I-U-E-O), which won the Sankei Children’s Books Award.
1963 Began a major series of cover illustrations for the magazine Kodomo no Shiawase (Children’s Happiness). In June, attended the Women’s International Conference held in Moscow.
1966 Traveled to Europe. After the trip, illustrated H.C. Andersen’s E no Nai Ehon (What the Moon Saw)
1967 Illustrated Watashi ga Chiisakatta Toki ni (When I Was a Child). Her husband became a member of the House of Representatives, the Japanese Diet.
1968 Created Ame no Hi no Orusuban (Staying Home Alone on a Rainy Day).
1973 Kotori no Kuru Hi (The Pretty Bird) won the Graphic Prize Fiera di Bologna. Published Senka no Naka no Kodomo-tachi (Children in the Flames of War), posthumously granted the bronze medal of the Leipzig International Book Fair in 1974. In autumn, diagnosed with liver cancer.
1974 Died of cancer on August 8. The posthumous work Akai Rosoku to Ningyo (The Red Candles and the Mermaid) was published.