Awazu Kiyoshi: R.I.P.

Michael Neault

Awazu Kiyoshi (粟津潔) — famed graphic designer, poster artist, illustrator, and fine artist — passed away on April 28th at 80 years of age. His work was tremendously influential in Japan, particularly his poster for the Teshigahara Hiroshi film adaption of Abe Kōbō’s novel 『砂の女』/Woman in the Dunes.

Awazu’s early works are exemplified by his use of brush and ink, highly signature display renderings of Japanese characters, and the mixed use of photography and hand-drawn elements. Utilizing abstraction, a polychrome palette, and a wide variety of techniques, Awazu created a voluminous body of work that spans over 40 years of constant visual activity.

In homage to Awazu’s wide oeuvre, we present a small gallery of his imagery here.

May 12, 2009

Ian Lynam is a graphic designer living in Tokyo and the art director of Neojaponisme. His website is located at His new book, Parallel Strokes, on the intersection of graffiti and typography is available now.

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