Kazuhiko Satani and Satani Gallery

Early Years: 1928-1972


Born on March 25, the first son of a furniture dealer in Higashi Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture.

Kazuhiko Satani at the age of two.

Kazuhiko Satani at the age of two.

1945: Age 17

April: Satani enrolls in Fourth High School in Kanazawa.

Begins reading art magazines such as Mizue, Atelier, and Sobi. Also comes across the name Shuzo Takigawa around this time.

While attending high school, visits the poet Tatsuji Miyoshi at Morita Villa, his villa in Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture, and stays for two nights. (As a youth, Miyoshi was adopted by the Satani family and lived with them in Maizuru for a year. )

Travel Essay by Kyoji Maeda, Yomiuri Shimbun

Travel Essay by Kyoji Maeda, Yomiuri Shimbun

1949: Age 21

April: Satani enrolls in the economics department at Kyoto University.

1953: Age 25

April: Satani finds a job at the Norinchukin Bank. Moves to Tokyo to begin working.

1956 Age 28

Meets Teiko Tanimoto, a student in the psychology department at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, in Masuo Takahashi’s painting class. Marries Teiko when he is transferred to Sapporo.

Teiko and Kazuhiko's Wedding.

Teiko and Kazuhiko's Wedding.

1963: Age 35

July: After working for five years at the bank’s Sapporo branch, and another three-and-a-half years at the Osaka branch, Satani is reassigned to the main office in Tokyo, where he remains for the rest of his life.

1965: Age 37

Hospitalized for a pancreatic disorder triggered by arduous work at a bank subsidiary. After his recovery, Satani begins visiting galleries in Ginza and becomes a “salaryman collector.”

“After I graduated from university, I started working at the bank, where I spent a busy 20 years. But after I fell ill and took a leave for three months or so, my outlook on life changed. I was motivated by my feelings to do things like looking at paintings and reading poetry rather than working at the bank…. One of my superiors at the bank took me to Sunouchi-san’s contemporary art gallery, which was then in Ginza 8-chome, and I bought a ballpoint-pen sketch of a nude made by Yoshitatsu Yanagihara…. But gradually I began leaning toward newer contemporary paintings, and that led me to meet Kusuo Shimizu, the owner of Minami Gallery…. Shimizu was passionate about contemporary art, and he spoke in an articulate and deeply impressive manner. The first work I bought at Minami Gallery was a print by Mitsuo Kano…. The next thing I got was a color lithograph by Sam Francis.”

–from Misuzu, pp. 156-157

1970: Age 42

From April to October of the following year, Satani writes a series of essays for the Norinchukin Bank house magazine, dealing with everything from Picasso to Pop art.

Buys a house in Ogikubo, Suginami-ku, Tokyo.

1972: Age 44

In the fall, Satani receives an offer from Kusuo Shimizu, the owner of Minami Gallery, to work at the gallery.