岩崎知弘誕生於1918年12月15日,十四歲學習油畫和素描,十八歲學習書法。因紙畫劇「母親的故事」(1949年)而踏上專業畫家之路。她將西方的水彩畫融合了東方傳統繪畫的技術,鑽研出自己獨特的技法,得以表現細膩的感覺。也因此獲得波隆那國際兒童圖書展Graphic獎(1973年),德國萊比錫國際圖書設計展銅牌獎(1974年)等多項榮譽。1973年秋季發現罹患癌症,1974年8月8日因原發性肝癌去世,享年55歲。

知弘的繪畫特色即是她終其一生都以「孩童」為作畫主題。即使沒有模特兒,她也能畫出十個月大的嬰兒與一歲兒的不同。在館內收藏的九千三百件以上的遺留作品中,可看到孩童們各種豐富生動的神態,充分顯示了知弘敏銳的觀察力和出色卓越的技巧。

知弘一生渴望和平,尤其希望世界上的兒童都能過著幸福和平的生活。她作畫的主題也一直以孩童及花卉為中心。因為年少時經歷過戰爭,或許知弘終其一生描繪小生命的光輝,正是希望藉此訴說和平的寶貴。

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.