When I was young, my mother read me stories about animals from books like "Faithful Elephants", "The Happy Prince", and "The Dog of Flanders".
Occasionally, she would read with tears in her eyes from those that were sad but showed how the hearts of humans and animals are so closely connected.

We also watched animal programs such as "Lassie", "Flipper", and "Maya" on our old black and white TV.

When I was in junior high, I was completely charmed by the comic book "My Zoo Diary" by Toshio Nishiyama which further fueled my interest in animals. I realized that I wanted to be an animal handler. One time, we even kept a caiman alligator at our house.

In my second year at high school, I had classmates who loved and boasted about their cameras. I did not have one, but what I became interested in were the photographs. I started to spend my lunch hour in the library looking through photo collections from TIME magazine, and of Bresson, Seymour, Doisneau. Their images brought to me a visual story of the people that were captured in the frame.

When it was time to go to University, I chose to study veterinary science so that I could work with animals but failed the exams. I was anxious about my future. One day, I was watching an interview show on TV - the guest was renowned animal photographer Kojo Tanaka. An animal photographer! I never dreamed such a job existed, and from this point on my heart was set to become a photographer. When my father came home that night, I confessed to him what I want to be, and told him that I would apply to a photography school. My father's response to this was: "If that's how you feel, then first buy a camera, go to the zoo to take pictures. If you still feel like you want to continue this path, then take the university exams to study photography".

From that day forward, I went to the Ueno Zoological Gardens from the moment it opened in the morning and just kept on shooting. After a year, one of my photographs of a penguin flying out of the water was accepted into the Japan Photographers Society (JPS) exhibition. On the judging panel was Kojo Tanaka, who I have had the honor of being able to work with since this day.

I entered Tokyo Polytechnic College the following year, but continued to take photographs of animals at the zoo. After graduation, I went to work as an assistant to Tanaka at his office.

In 1984 I was awarded with an Honorable Mention at an exhibition held by the JPS, and with this I made a decision to go out on my own. My first collection of kitten photographs entitled "Cat Cat Kitten – Part 2" was published by Japan Publishing Company in 1986. This collection was later printed into postcards and published by Art Print Japan, Inc. and became best-sellers. The prints were later produced into calendars, journals, jigsaw puzzles, other merchandises and brought me success and prominence as a kitten photographer.

In March of 1991, just as I was turning 30, I left Japan and moved to London and start a new life in another country. My dream was to take photographs just like Doisneau and Bresson whom I admire so greatly.

I traveled and lived between Japan and London for the next five years. This valuable experience brought me full circle, and an opportunity to reminisce on those old black & white photos, or the zoo collection. It made me realize that since childhood I wanted to capture something precious, a moment - which is probably the reason why I still continue to take photographs to this day.

Satoshi Konuma


    • 1961 Born in Tokyo.
    • 1981 Graduated from Tokyo Polytechnic University, Junior College Photography Department
    • 1981-84 Assistant at the office of Kojo Tanaka (Japanese Animal Photographer)
    • 1984 Bronze Prize Award at the Japan Professional Photographers Society Exhibition
    • 1986 Exhibition: "They" - The Olympus Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
    • 1991-95 Lived in London

Photo Books

    • 1986 Cat Cat Kitten - Part 2 (Neko Neko Koneko Part2), Nihon Shuppan Sha
    • 1988 The Cats, Tatsumi Publishing
    • 1997 Book of Kitten (Koneko no hon) & Book of Puppy (Koinu no hon), The Orangepage.
      nursery rhyme, Taikaisha
    • 1998 Photo book of Kitten (Koneko no Photo book) & Photo book of Puppy (Koinu no Photo book),
      The Orangepage. Rompish Cats, Taikaisha
    • 2000 All Kittens (Minna Koneko) & All Puppies (Minna Koinu), The Orangepage

Works: Offical licensed Products and Licensees

  • Post Card
    • Art Print Japan, Sanrio, Aesop, CentraL Hobby(Current Epoch), Art Unlimited
  • Jigsaw puzzle
    • Bon (Current Epoch), Amada, Yanoman, CentraL Hobby (Current Epoch)
  • Calendar
    • The Orangepage, Yama-kei Publishers, Designphil, Art Print Japan, Sangyou, Shinnippon Calendar
  • Stationery
    • Designphil
  • Novelty item
    • Morinaga; Photo Cards, Top Seika; Photo Stickers, Nippon Life Insurance; calendar,
      Sumitomo Life Insurance; calendar
  • and many other merchandise & items.

Copyright © Satoshi Konuma All rights reserved.