熊田千佳慕 (Chikabo Kumada) was an artist born in 横浜 (Yokohama, Japan) in 1911.
He was a graphic designer until the age of 26 when he changed careers to do something he was passionate about. He became a botanical artist.
He loved children and he loved nature…especially insects. So he wrote books for children about plants and insects.
He was often called the 「日本のファーブル」 (“Japanese Fabre“) or even 「プチファーブル」 (“Petit Fabre“).
He was called that because ジャン・アンリ・ファーブル (Jean Henri Fabre) was a French entomologist (insect scientist) who lived from the early nineteenth century until the early twentieth century.
He’s pretty famous in Japan.
Jean Henri Fabre (1823-1915)
My family and I are interested in insects. (Click here to see a couple photos of our latest “pet”.)
Last year we went to a ファーブル (Fabre) exhibit at a museum in Tokyo.
Flyer for "Jean Henri Fabre" exhibit in Tokyo
Like Fabre, 熊田千佳慕 (Chikabo Kumada) loved insects.
And he drew detailed illustrations of plants and insects for children’s book even when he was into his late 90s!
This year, the 松屋 (“Matsuya“) Department Store in 銀座 (Ginza, Tokyo) is celebrating it’s 140th anniversary.
As part of it’s celebration, they’re having an exhibit of the artwork of 熊田千佳慕 (Chikabo Kumada) on the 8th floor from yesterday (2009 August 12) until August 24.
But what makes this exhibit especially significant is that it is now a memorial to the artist…since, one day after the opening of the exhibit, he died today at the age of 98.
Tragically, it wasn’t old age that took him. He may have very well lived past 100. He died today when he choked to death on food that he swallowed wrong.
My family and I plan to go to the exhibit of his artwork in the 松屋 (“Matsuya“) Department Store this month.
熊田千佳慕 (Chikabo Kumada): 1911 July 21 – 2009 August 13 (age 98), R.I.P.
Chikabo Kumada, 1911/7/21 - 2009/8/13