Yasunari Murakami (1955–) was born in Gifu Prefecture and attended Aichi University of the Arts. After stints working at a publisher and a design firm, he decided to turn independent. An avid outdoorsman, he has focused much of his work on nature and wildlife themes, and runs the Yasunari Murakami Museum, a private gallery, in Izu Kogen on the Izu Peninsula. He received Special Mentions in graphics at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 1986, 1988, and 1989 for Pinku to Suno Jisan (Pink and Old Man Snow), Purezento (Present; text by Shuhei Hasegawa), and Yokoso mori e (Welcome to the Forest). In 1991 he garnered a Biennial of Illustration Bratislava Plaque for Pinku! Paru! (Pink! Pearl!) and in 2003 won the Japan Picture Book Awards Grand Prize for Natsu no ike (Summer Pond; text by Yonematsu Shiono).