Takashi Amano

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Takashi Amano (天野尚)
Takashi Amano.jpg
BornJuly 18, 1954
DiedAugust 4, 2015(2015-08-04) (aged 61)
Niigata, Japan
Known forPhotographer, aquarist
AwardsFuji Film Nature Photo Contest, Grand Prix, 1992

Takashi Amano (天野尚, Amano Takashi, 18 July 1954 – 4 August 2015) was a professional track cyclist, photographer, designer, and aquarist.[1] His interest in aquaria led him to create the Japanese company Aqua Design Amano.

Amano was the author of Nature Aquarium World (TFH Publications, 1994), a three-book series on aquascaping and freshwater aquarium plants and fish. He has also published the book Aquarium Plant Paradise (TFH Publications, 1997).

A species of freshwater shrimp is named the "Amano shrimp" or "Yamato shrimp" (Caridina multidentata; previously Caridina japonica) after him. After discovering this species' ability to eat large quantities of algae, Amano asked a local distributor to special order several thousand of them.[2] They have since become a staple in the freshwater planted aquarium hobby.

He also developed a line of aquarium components that are known as Aqua Design Amano (ADA). "Nature Aquarium", his article series, appeared in monthly magazines in Practical Fishkeeping in the UK, and Tropical Fish Hobbyist in the US. He died of pneumonia[3] in 2015 at the age of 61.[4]


Takashi Amano wrote about freshwater aquascaping. He established a distinctive style of plant layout.[5] He employed Japanese gardening concepts such as wabi-sabi and Zen rock arrangements. His tank compositions sought to mimic nature in their appearance. Amano made extensive use of Glossostigma elatinoides and Riccia fluitans as plant material.

He founded Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd. in 1982, providing aquatic plant-growing equipment. His photo books of what he called the "Nature Aquarium", Glass no Naka no Daishizen, published in 1992, followed by Mizu-Shizen eno kaiki, were translated into seven languages.

Amano shrimp[edit]

Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata)

The Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) was introduced to the aquatic hobby by Takashi Amano as a means of controlling the growth of algae in the 1980s. The shrimp was therefore named after him.[6]

Forests Underwater at Lisbon Oceanarium[edit]

This exhibit is one of Amano's major works. It features a tropical freshwater aquascape at the Lisbon Oceanarium. The aquarium is 40 metres (130 ft) in length holding 160,000 litres (35,000 imp gal; 42,000 US gal) of water with more than 10,000 fish of 40 different species. The exhibit was opened on April 21, 2015.[7][8]

Photography career[edit]

Starting in 1975, Amano visited tropical rainforests in Amazon, Borneo, and West Africa and pristine forests in Japan, creating a series of photos focusing on "untouched nature" with large-format cameras. He captured minute details of nature on extra large-size films (up to 8 × 20 inches). His works have been introduced internationally through several exhibitions and publications.

Amano gave lectures on his photographic expeditions and his experiences in nature around the world, and he advocated for the environmental importance of tree planting programs. He was a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society, the Japan Advertising Photographers' Association, the International Environment Photographers Association, and the Society of Scientific Photography.

G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit[edit]

Two landscape photos of Takashi Amano were displayed at the 34th G8 summit Working Lunch / Outreach Working Session of Hokkaido Toyako Summit held July 7–9, 2008. The photos of a cedar forest on Sado Island taken with an 8 × 20-inch large format camera were exhibited on the 4 × 1.5 m panels.


Year Title Publisher Country ISBN
1992 Glass no Naka no Daishizen Marine Planning Japan
1994 Mizu-Shizen eno Kaiki Marine Planning Japan
Nature Aquarium World TFH Publications U.S.A.
Pflanzenparadies unter Wasser Natur Buch Verlag Germany
1996 Nature Aquarium World Book 2 TFH Publications U.S.A.
Nature Aquarium World Book 3 TFH Publications U.S.A.
De wonderlijke wereld onder water Natur Design Verlag Netherlands
Faszinierendes Aquarium Natur Buch Verlag Germany
Le Nouveau Monde des Plantes Aquatiques Natur Design Verlag France
1997 Aquarium Plant Paradises TFH Publications U.S.A. 978-0793805181
Amanos Naturaquarien Editoriale Giorgio Mondadori Italy
1998 Ihr Hobby-Naturaquarien Natur Buch Verlag Germany
Diskus im Naturaquarium Natur Buch Verlag Germany
Das Große Buch der Naturaquarien Natur Buch Verlag Germany
Les aquariums naturels d'Amano JEH Productions France
2004 The Rio Negro Marine Planning Japan
2007 Sado – To Pristine Forest From Bottom of Sea ADA Japan
2009 Sado – To Pristine Forest From Bottom of Sea
"Revised and Enlarged Edition"
ADA Japan
2011 Nature Aquarium: Complete Works 1985–2009 TFH Publications U.S.A 978-0793806492


Year Title Location Country
1998 Urin-Ujou Fuji Photo Salon, Tokyo Japan
2004 Dare mo Shiranai Amazon Niitsu Art Forum, Niigata Japan
The Rio Negro Nizayama Forest Art Museum, Toyama Japan
2006 The Rio Negro Nature Info Plaza—Marunouchi Saezurikan, Tokyo Japan
Sozo no Genten Amazon Toki Messe, Niigata Japan
Kusatsu-Amazon Niigata Daiwa, Niigata Japan
2007 Sado-From bottom of the Sea to the Pristine Forest Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography Japan
Daremo Shiranai Sado Niigata Prefectural Civic Center Japan
2008 Daremo Shiranai Sado Amusement Sado, Niigata Japan
2009 Sado – a Natural Treasure of Japan Qatar Photography Society, Doha Qatar
2009 Takashi Amano in India for Aquatika 2009 Nimhans Convention Hall, Bangalore India
2015 Forests Underwater Oceanário de Lisboa, Lisbon Portugal


  1. ^ Dvorak, Phred (December 6, 2012). "The Sage of Aquariums". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ Amano, Takashi (March 1994). Nature Aquarium World: Book 1. Neptune, NJ: TFH Publications. ISBN 0-7938-0089-7.
  3. ^ "Aquascaping pioneer Takashi Amano dies". Practical Fishkeeping. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
  4. ^ Website of the City of Niigata Archived 2015-08-14 at the Wayback Machine (Japanese language)
  5. ^ Axelrod, Herbert R., Warren E. Burgess, Neal Pronek, Glen S. Axelrod and David E. Boruchowitz (1998), Aquarium Fishes of the World, Neptune City, N.J.: TFH Publications, p. 718, ISBN 0-7938-0493-0.
  6. ^ "Amano shrimp". 14 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Exhibit at Lisbon Oceanarium".
  8. ^ "Massive 40m nature aquarium".

External links[edit]