Matsubara Naoko

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Woodblock print of the Boston Public Library by Matsubara Naoko.

Matsubara Naoko (松原 直子, born 1937 in Tokushima) is a Japanese artist.

Life and work[edit]

Matsubara graduated from the Kyoto University of Applied Arts in 1960. She then pursued an MFA in the School of Fine Arts at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on a Fulbright Travel Grant, and since then has traveled extensively and taught at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn—a rare distinction for a Japanese woman. She also studied one year at the Royal College of Art, London. Currently she lives and works in Oakville, Canada.

Naoko Matsubara’s father was the chief priest in a Shinto shrine in Kyoto. Shrines and temples became one of the major themes of Matsubara’s works. Naoko Matsubara’s style is influenced by her teacher Munakata Shiko (1903–1975), who worked in the mingei (folk art) tradition. Her works are part of the collections of many museums around the world such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Albertina in Vienna, the British Museum in London, the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress in Washington, the Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts, the Haifa Museum in Israel and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. She was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.[1]

Naoko Matsubara's sister is the novelist Hisako Matsubara, they collaborated on the publication of Japanese tale Taketori Monogatari in German. Naoko did the illustrations, while her sister did the actual translation and the commentary.


  • Matsubara, Naoko. Boston Impressions. Woodcuts by Naoko Matsubara. Text by Sinclair Hitchings. Barre Publications, 1970.
  • Matsubara, Naoko. Kyoto Woodcuts. Tokyo, New York: Kodansha International; New York: Distributed in the United States by Kodansha International/USA, through Harper & Row, 1978.
  • Matsubara, Naoko. In Praise of Trees. NY, London: Mosaic Press, 1985.
  • Matsubara, Naoko. Tibetan Sky. Ontario: Bayeux Arts Inc., 1997.
  • Matsubara, Naoko. Tales of Days Gone By. Tuttle Publishing, 2004.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Members since 1880". Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 


External links[edit]