I love beautiful things, and I want to make pictures that lift people's spirits
Hiroji Kubota was born in Tokyo in 1939, the second son of a successful fish merchant, and lived through Japan’s disruptive war years. After graduating in political science from Tokyo’s University of Waseda in 1962, Kubota moved to the US, settling in Chicago, where he continued photographing while supporting himself by working in a Japanese catering business.
Kubota became a freelance photographer in 1965, and his first assignment for the UK newspaper The Times was to Jackson Pollock’s grave in East Hampton. In 1968, Kubota returned to live in Japan, where his work was recognized with a Publishing Culture Award from Kodansha in 1970.
In 1971 Kubota became a Magnum associate. As well as making significant bodies of work in the United States, Kubota has photographed the majority of the Asian continent, spending the most time in China and Japan, where he created several deeply researched series.