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Shinzo Shimao, born 1948 to Miho and Toshio Shimao, is the eldest of the brood. He grew up in the Amami Islands, where he first dabbled with photography.
In 1974, he married Tokuko Ushioda, who became not only his life partner but his fellow artist as well.
Shimao, who is also a famous novelist, has staged many solo exhibits, such as China Town (1975) in Galleria Grafica, Tokyo; Living 1990-1995 (1995) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; Attempt at Pure Scenery (2004) at the Contemporary Photo Gallery in Tokyo; Living (2008) at Port Gallery T in Osaka and Wandering in China (2009) at Place M.
Shimao has also participated in several group exhibits such as the China Life Report (1983) in Parco Gallery, Tokyo; Contemporary Chinese Museum (1998) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and China, Biblioteca, Manga (2008) at the Lee ka-sing Gallery at Toronto, Canada.
Shimao and his wife have greatly influenced the life of their son, Maho Shimao, who’s also famous in the world of art for his works as a cartoonist. In fact, the family staged their own exhibit entitled Maho-chan’s Lovely Home last 2003 at the Contemporary Art Center at Art Tower at Mito.