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The zodiac series was originally issued over several years, in a 1000-piece glow-in-the-dark version. At the end of 2005 it was reissued in a 500-piece super-vivid hexachrome, glow-in-the-dark version, and the original 1000-piece versions gradually disappeared. In 2009 the 500-piece series was replaced by a new 1000-piece series, but this too has been discontinued (deleted from the 2013-14 catalog).
The new series does not bear the "Hexachrome" trademark (which would indicate licensing from Pantone), but the catalog says "Special printing", and these appear to be much closer to the richer colours of the 500-piece series than than the original 1000-piece version. There are some subtle editing differences: the cropping is slightly different (and in Cancer a sea-shell has been moved closer to the sea!).
We have also amended the titles for Scorpius and Capricornus to the artist's preference, to use the astronomical names for the constellations, rather than the names used for astrological signs: Scorpio and Capricorn.
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Born in Saitama (just north of Tokyo) in 1968, Kagaya spent his childhood in wonderment of the stars in the sky, and never stopped painting them. He has had a successful career as an illustrator for astronomical books and magazines, and many of his works have been turned into jigsaw puzzles, among other products. Since 1996, he has worked exclusively in the digital medium, using a Macintosh. Perhaps that is why he does not appear to sign his pictures.
He goes by his family name; his given name appears to be Yutaka, but in English you will also find him called Joh Kagaya (Jô is the Chinese reading of his name).
The Kagaya Studio site includes lots more information, including some in English.
He has been honoured by having an asteroid (no. 11949) named after him. It's a long way away, but only a few kilometres across, so you could walk round it in a day.
(More at Wikipedia)
Note: The translations of titles are mine.
Looking for other Kagaya puzzles?
Try the Yanoman website. If you find another puzzle you want, please ask me about special orders.
For reference: you can view all the Kagaya puzzles that are out of print in the Attic.