Hajime Kato (加藤一) Autobiography English Translation


As one of my pet projects I hired someone to translate Hajime Kato’s (加藤一) Autobiography. I can’t imagine there is enough interest in actually publishing an English version of the book, so for the time being this is just for my own interest. The project began last year and we are slowly picking away at it. I hope to have it complete by the end of 2016.

Hajime Kato Autobiography cover
Hajime Kato Autobiography cover
Hajime Kato autobiography intro
Kato autobiography intro









The autobiography was originally published in 1987. Here’s a short excerpt from the intro. Keep in mind this has not been “edited”.

From the Atelier
Soft light of early autumn coming through the northern window and filling my atelier. It’s a quiet afternoon. I’m working in a classic atelier with entresol in Paris that’s as old as me. If this were in Japan, this type of building would be condemned, and no one would want to use it. However, here in Paris, it’s still very much usable. One draft sketch on the easel. I’m planning to have a private show in Tokyo in 1987, and this is the draft for one of my signature works, “transformer of the wind”. Based on this sketch, I’m going to create a large painting that’s 2 meters by 12 meters. Being loyal to the title, I’d like to paint the dynamic image of the wind’s transformation into wings filling the canvas. My racing bikes are hung upside down from the ceiling . I have 8 of those in total. Those bikes are specially ordered to perfectly fit my body type. I even have so-called “haute-couture” bicycles that could cost as much as a small car. A poet who’s visited my atelier before was amazed, describing it as “cicada’s wings”. He’s right, it’s almost transparent, very light, delicate and strong at the same time, and hardly looks like a device that crawls on the ground.
Those who don’t know about my biography get somewhat weirded out when they look at those bikes hung in the atelier. In fact, before I became a painter, I used to be a cycling sprinter and cycle racer. Bike-racing was my everything back then. However, in later years, I separated myself from the past and moved on as a painter. Painting became my life, and I came to Paris. It’s been 29 years already since I made that decision. Luckily, since the day I sold my first painting, I’ve met people who became fans of my art little by little and I have been able to feed myself. However, I have say, I haven’t completely separated myself from the world of bike racing. It’s been 10 years since I was chosen as a vice-president of Union Cycliste Internationale, and I’ve been part of the effort to hold the world championship in Japan as well.

If you are not familiar with Kato’s work you can check some of it out over on my Pinterest board.

Follow Vintage’s board Hajime Kato (1925-2000) on Pinterest.








10 responses to “Hajime Kato (加藤一) Autobiography English Translation”

  1. MARTIN Avatar

    Your project of translation of the japanese biography of Hajime KATO (1925-2000) – painter, lyric abstraction, second Paris School after the second World War


    You can contact by letter Mrs Masako KATO – 13 rue NELATON – 75015 PARIS
    the wife of Hajime Kato

    I write to Mrs Kato when I see auction sells on Internet

    Michel MARTIN POITIERS (France)

    1. Bloud Avatar

      Hi Martin,

      I have been in contact with Mrs. Masako Kato and her daughter for a couple years now. Thank you!

  2. FILLAUD Avatar

    I just published the biography of cyclist Hajimé Kato. Can this interest you?
    Best regards
    Jean-Claude FILLAUD

    1. Bloud Avatar

      Yes, it would! However, is there an english version?

      1. MARTIN Michel Avatar
        MARTIN Michel


        Do you have finished your translation of the japanese biography of Hajime Kato (1925 – 2000) “by the end of 2016” ?..

        (For your information) In october 2016 Mr JC Fillaud has published a good book in French about H Kato, his youth in Japan (old pictures), keirin racer, Baron Shigeno, Baron Satsuma, his coming in Paris in 1958, painter (lyric abstraction), keirin manager,…

        M MARTIN – Poitiers (France)




        1. Bloud Avatar

          Sadly my translator never finished the project and I have not revived it as of yet. It’s on the back-burner…

  3. MARTIN Michel Avatar
    MARTIN Michel

    Do you want to read the recent book of Mr JC Fillaud (in french) ?..

    If you want, you can give to me your personal address ; I will send you his book, for your information

  4. MARTIN Michel Avatar
    MARTIN Michel

    Auction Hajime KATO (1925-2000)

    Drouot Paris salle 14, 07/06/2018 à 14 h : 16 lots, n° 187 and 313-327

    internet live



    T. +33 (0)1 48 00 99 44


  5. MARTIN Michel Avatar
    MARTIN Michel

    … also beautiful auction sale 18/06/2018 on internet

    MILLON Paris Drouot

    “Kato, painter of light and Wind” – catalog PDF to be downloaded


    1. Brian L. Avatar

      Thank you! I saw the notifications for these. I assume Mrs. Kato is now deceased?

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