Japan has a long long tradition of paper crafts. There are a number of techniques for making pictures by pasting paper instead of brushing paint, and somewhat confusing terms for them: hari-e simply means "pasted pictures"; chigiri-e "torn pictures", and kiri-e "cut pictures". There seems to be no clear English term for these techniques - "collage" (from the French, meaning 'glued on') has been suggested, but the usual implication of this term is that the items retain their individual patterns and identities, rather than being (usually small) pieces of plain paper.
Born in 1922 in Tokyo, Yamashita had a troubled childhood: - after a bullying incident at school involving a knife, he was classified as mentally handicapped, and placed in an institution. His genius for creating harie (pasted paper pictures) was soon realised, though, and eventually he featured in many exhibitions across Japan. He remained an eccentric: from 1940 to 1954 he roamed the country wearing only an undershirt (it is said), earning himself the moniker of "The naked artist wanderer". Although he travelled widely seeking material, including an extended tour of Europe in 1961, it seems he did not work in the field, but would return to his studio and create images entirely from memory. He died in 1971 at the early age of 49.
His story has been dramatised a number of times, in the 1956 film known as "The naked general" and later television series.
Born in 1924, Fujishiro has had a long and productive career as an illustrator - producing many children's books, and creating his own brand of fantasy along the way. From an early involvement with shadow puppetry, he developed his own unique style: he calls these kage-e (literally "shadow pictures"), but his is a backlit world not of black and white (or grey), but of wonderful translucent colours, apparently made mostly from tissue paper.
He is still active at the age of 80, and his work has appeared all over the world, most recently (February 2005) in New York and Washington.
See separate page for lots more Fujishiro puzzles