The Yokotsuka Brothers – 横塚兄弟


Instagram Link : garo_shun

Living in Japan I have had the honor to meet many amazing people and this my story about the Yokotsuka brothers.

In January, 2021 when my own art was on exhibition in Shibuya, Mr Osami Yokotsuka san came to see my artwork and explained about his older brother being an artist.

When Mr Yokotsuka san showed me a couple of photographs from his phone, it was love at first sight with the artwork of his brother who was 85 years old.

Mr Susumu Yokotsuka

I wanted to meet his brother Susumu san as soon as possible and stated my desire to set up an exhibition for him right away with hope that many other people would be able to experience his artwork. Most importantly I could not keep this gem of a a mans artwork to myself and instantly wanted to share what I had seen, to the world.

Osami san arranged for me to meet his brother Susumu san. and in February I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Susumu san in person.

Both Susumu san and I hit it off right away, not only as artists but thinking about it now, perhaps because of our sense of integrity and values on life were similar in some way.

Sharing a little bit about the background of Susumu san, he was only nine years old when the war broke out and being born in Nagasaki, from one of the worst places hit with destruction it surely made an impact in his life.

From a young age Susumu san loved to draw manga and this passion led him to his path to enter a university in Kyoto with hopes to major in the arts.

Yet to him, painting was his life and painting became his every breathing moment. At the age of 65 he made the decision to move to Lisbon to paint and through that period of his life we can see his impression of this capital and the largest city of Portugal.

In Lisbon

Another chapter of Susumu sans life was when he was 72 he decided that it was a good time to move to Thailand to paint there. Making such a bold decision to move there for almost 11 years was another influence on Susumu’s art.

In Thailand

I have many favorites of his masterpieces and many that touch my heart. One in particular is an oil painting of the Kannon-Sama it the energy of this artwork literally changed my life. The effort taken for this masterpiece and as with many other of his artworks, but to me the fact that Susumu san had to use crutches to walk due to an illness as a child and I can only imagine how difficult it was to stand up for many hours at a time, what is required of artists when painting artworks of such a grand size.

For those who are unfamiliar with Kannon-Sama, she is a Bodhisattva, and it believed that she prolonged her own eternal enlightenment to stay behind and help everyone who suffers in this world.

The compassion of Kannon-Sama was the driving force behind this painting, as Susumu being the third amongst seven other siblings at that time his oldest brother was battling with cancer and this was Susumu’s calling to paint her in the hopes to save his brother from suffering.

Kannon Sama

When I met with Mr Susumu Yokotsuka his compassionate heart shone through just like Kannon-Sama. I felt his love for others and his deep concern for world peace and joy to all those around him.

In the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake, with needing crutches to walk, instead he used his bicycle to pedal from Osaka which took him two hours. Seeing the destruction, he noticed the townspeople were not happy that photographers for the media were snapping up photos of people in their darkest hours, with their homes destroyed and lives lost. A photograph that

was taken for the news which could perhaps capture in less that a split second the devastation but even they noticed Susumu san with sketchbook in hand, noticing the great effort he was taking, they encouraged him and expressed their wishes for him to show the world what happened.

These artworks were very precious to Susumu san told me that he wanted to present them to the Kobe prefectural office and was in process sending a letter to them to that effect.

I remember when Susumu san, his younger brother Osami san and I conversed over lunch. In fact it was just last Monday that Osamu san and myself, returned to the same cafe to meet with a journalist from France who had shown interest in Susumu sans art that is on exhibition since two days ago. Susumu’s oil painting of the Psyche.

Sitting in the Cafe planning a grand debut in Tokyo

Psyche is the Greek word for butterfly. It is said that being the Greek Goddess of the soul., she was born a mortal woman, with beauty that rivaled Aphrodite.

Her symbol being the butterfly, she is sometimes depicted with butterfly wings as she is seen in the artwork of Susumu san. What seems to be simple tale of the Ancient Greek Gods, the story in fact has great depth and meaning.

Much so in common with the painting of Susumu san, that was chosen by his brother Osami, out of hundreds of his art collection.

There were so many to choose from and with this being the grand debut for Mr Susumu Yokotsuka, we wanted to choose something fitting.

Mr Osami Yokotsuka

Mr Susumu Yokotsuka, to my great and deepest sorrow of my heart, passed away just before his debut in Tokyo.

Mr Susumu Yokotsuka – His brother has started a Instagram page for his brother, to showcase his artworks to the world.

I am so very honored to have had the great pleasure to meet with Susumu san and I hope to carry on his legacy by introducing the world, to his world of art.

Mr Susumu Yokotsuka’s artwork “Psyche” can be viewed at Uematsu Art Shop from May 31st to June 30th, 2021

Uematsu Art Shop Window








しかし、彼にとっては、絵を描くことが自分の人生であり、絵を描くことが自分のすべての呼吸のようなものでした。 65歳のとき、彼は絵を描くためにリスボンに移ることを決断し、その期間を通して、この首都でありポルトガル最大の都市に対する彼の印象を見ることができます。

















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Instagram – Please follow

Please leave your comments on the Instagram set up for Mr Susumu Yokotsuka. Thank you.

By catherinejanefisher

Grassroots Human Rights Advocate, from Australia. Living in Japan

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