Kanda was born in Nerima, Tokyo, in 1937. At the age of eight he and his family relocated to Shikaoi Town, Tokachi, Hokkaidō as part of wartime evacuations. It was there and for the rest of his short life that he managed to produce a number of passionate works of art while at the same time being engaged in land development and agriculture.
He became a member of the All Hokkaidō Exhibition and entered his works in the Independent Selection Exhibition, the first Hokkaidō Excellent Art Work Exhibition and other such exhibitions. His postwar Shin-gushō (新具象 "New Representational Style") has been artistically valued ever since his works were shown at the Exhibition of Kanda Nisshō’s World and the Japanese Realism Exhibition.
The impact of Kanda’s paintings come from his reflections on bucolic isolation and the harsh conditions settlers faced in provincial Hokkaidō. Each painting is crafted in Kanda’s own uniquely calm style of realism. Livestock and the life of settlers play a large part in Kanda's work.
In 1970, he died suddenly at the age of 32.
In 1993, the Kanda Nisshō Memorial Art Museum was established in Tokachi, Hokkaidō in Kanda’s memory and to house many of his works. Kanda’s unfinished final work, Uma ("Horse") serves as the symbol of the museum. Since his death, other works such as Okunai fūkei ("Indoor Landscape") have been in the possession of the Hokkaidō Museum of Modern Art in Sapporo and the Hokkaidō Obihiro Museum of Art in Obihiro.
A list of representative works
- Gomi-bako (ゴミ箱, "Trash Can", 1961)
- Ie (家, "House", 1962)
- Hanba no fūkei (飯場の風景, "Bunkhouse Scene", 1963)
- Ushi (牛, "Cow", 1964)
- Uma (馬, "Horse", 1965)
- Seibutsu (静物, "Still Life", 1966)
- Gashitsu A (画侄A, "Studio A", 1966)
- Gashitsu B (画侄B, "Studio B", 1966)
- Hareta hi no kōkei (晴れた日の光景, "A Clear Day’s Spectacle", 1968)
- Yuki no nōjō (雪の農場, "Snow Farm", 1969)
- Okunai fūkei (屋內風景, "Indoor Landscape", 1970)
- Uma (馬, "Horse", 1970 unfinished)