Ryoh Arai (1933-2009) was born in Tochigi prefecture. He studied design at the Tokyo Art University, and after graduation, embarked on a career as a successful freelance illustrator. A long-standing member of the Japanese Graphic Designer Association, he received several commercial awards in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His artistic talent was recognized with commissions for creative projects from prominent corporations such as the Hitachi Electronics Company, the Isuzu Automobile Company, and the American company IBM. He started to experiment with printmaking in the 1970s. His illustrated book, "Hanakui Lion," was published by Kodansha in 1986. He would soon be recognized as a master of the mezzotint and used the velvety blacks of the medium to give a mysterious, evocative element to his prints beautifully rendered subject matter – favoring cats, flowers, butterflies, and the hands and faces of exotic, beautiful women.

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