Takashi Amano

Takashi Amano bigraphy, stories - Japanese photographer

Takashi Amano : biography

July 18, 1954 –
is a photographer, designer and aquarist. His interest in aquaria led him to create the Japanese company Aqua Design Amano. 

Amano is 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"(T.F.H. 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. They have since become a staple in the freshwater planted aquarium hobby.

He has also developed a line of aquarium components that are known as ADA, and his “Nature Aquarium” article series appears monthly in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine in the U.S.


Takashi Amano has written about freshwater aquascaping. He has established a distinctive style of plant layout.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.: T.F.H. Publications, p. 718, ISBN 0-7938-0493-0. He employs Japanese gardening concepts such as Wabi-sabi and Zen rock arrangement. His tank compositions seek to mimic nature in their appearance. Amano also makes extensive use of Glossostigma elatinoides and Riccia fluitans as plant material, and uses shrimp as a means of controlling the growth of algae.

He founded Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd. in 1982, providing aquatic plant growing equipment. His photo book of what he call the "Nature Aquarium", Glass no Naka no Daishizen, published in 1992, followed by Mizu-Shizen eno kaiki, were translated into 7 languages.

Photography career

Since 1975, Takashi Amano has visited tropical rainforests in Amazon, Borneo and West Africa and pristine forests in Japan, and he has been working on series of photos focusing on "untouched nature" with his large-format cameras. He captures minute details of nature found at site on extra large size films (up to 8×20 inches). His works have been introduced internationally through several exhibitions and publications. Amano is now taking on a challenge to record the existing precious nature of Japan on large-format films and pass down to posterity. In recent years, Amano has given numbers of lectures on his photography expeditions and his experiences in nature around the world, and he has advocated the importance of tree-planting programs to protect the earth’s environment. He is 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

Two landscape photos of Takashi Amano were displayed at 34th G8 summit Working Lunch / Outreach Working Session of Hokkaido Toyako Summit held from July 7 till 9 2008. The photos of pristine cedar tree forest in Sado Island taken by 8×20 inches large format camera were exhibited on the 4.0×1.5m panel.


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