Toko Shinoda (front row, third from right) along with members of the Zonta Club of Tokyo I visit with Zontians from the U.S.
Remembering Toko Shinoda, renowned artist and founding Japanese Zonta club member

Toko Shinoda was not only a prevalent 20th century Sumie Japanese artist, but also a founding member of the Zonta Club of Tokyo I, Japan, the first Zonta club in Japan. She died at a Tokyo hospital on Monday, 1 March at the age of 107.

As a trailblazer in both her personal life and artistry, Ms. Shinoda shunned traditional roles to follow her passions during times when being unconventional was not only frowned upon, but dangerous. Her work has been honored across the world, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Zonta members who are privileged to have seen Ms. Shinoda’s work in person recall the mesmerizing fine detail and beauty of her art.

As a Zontian, Ms. Shinoda’s remarkable life demonstrates the power that lies in breaking from tradition to advance the rights and status of women across the world. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we hope Toko Shinoda’s legacy continues to empower generations to come.

Read more about Toko Shinoda in this New York Times article.

5 March 2021