Takashi Amano, founder of Aqua Design Amano, creator of the Nature Aquarium concept and visual aquatics master passed away earlier this week at the age of 61. The news of Takashi Amano’s passing is causing quite a shake up of the general aquarium community the world over. While his craft was concentrated in the freshwater planted aquarium, the magic he created transcended fresh and salt waters, and even into mainstream and popular culture.
Calling Takashi-san the godfather of the Nature Aquarium is almost an understatement, as he singlehandedly created the art form that so many tens of thousands of people practice today. The very concept of “aquascaping” was a word that we had to create in order to describe what he did so perfectly for so many decades. Before Amano, aquascaping didn’t even exist but thanks to his tireless efforts at sharing his knowledge and inspiring generations of people at the magic that aquariums can create, the art of the Nature Aquarium and aquarium aesthetics will transcend his and our lifetimes.
We’ve reached out to some of Takashi-San’s contemporaries for their thoughts on the loss of such an immense aquarium icon. These are the people who will carry the torch of the Nature Aquarium and aquascaping in his honor, and we hope that the whole aquarium world will remember the man who made living art using aquariums, water and plants.
It is with the deepest reflection, and most profound reverence that we ponder this day the passing of Takashi Amano, the most important aquarist of our time. His unmatched influence on the aquarium hobby and broader industry was visionary, masterful, and sublime. He made the concept of aquascaping an integral part the aquarium keeping experience, and elevated everyone’s perception of what an aquarium could be.
His Nature Aquarium style and the revolution it created was unlike anything in the hobby before or since, spawning whole new categories of industry and careers for passionate aquarists to pursue. It was truly a new way of seeing and experiencing the aquarium, and it’s magic captured the hearts and minds of so many the World over. Even those who were not followers of his work or students of his principles were likely influenced by someone who was, as we find a little bit of Amano in each and every aquascaped aquarium.
Takashi Amano was a giant figure to so many, and I struggle to find words to fully express how deeply his life and work affected us. He changed the aquarium keeping culture, bringing his passion for nature, art, and life itself to everything he did. All of us in the aquarium hobby and beyond owe a debt of gratitude and deep appreciation for his contributions both great and small. He was a artist in the purist sense, a compassionate soul, and an incredible human being that will be both missed and revered for a very long time to come.
Our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and those closest to this extraordinary man we cherish so dearly. May his legacy stand the test of time, and may he forever rest in peace.
Thankfully it is seldom in life we experience a feelings so heavy that we are at a loss for words. Like many, I’m sure, it took me hours to wrap my head around what an enormous loss the world had experienced. Takashi Amano. What else other than his name need be said about about a man so influential?
Growing up, staring at the glossy pages of the beautifully photographed aquascapes in the Nature Aquarium World books stirred something wild deep inside many of us. For me personally it not only opened up a new idea of what was possible in an aquarium but it ignited a passion and a desire to push passed what was previously thought possible in every facet of life. For one man to produce any body of work that captures the essence of what drives a human being is incredible on its own.
Takashi San effortlessly articulated the absolute meaning of this without fail. Repeatedly and consistently throughout his years finding new ways to inspire and move our souls. Showing us lessons to accept impermanence through his methodology and giving us the sight to see beauty in the imperfect. I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity have met, known, and worked with you Takashi San.
There cannot be another like you. But, how I wish your final lesson was not an exorcise in tolerance and suffering an undeniable and true emptiness. Your breath may be gone but you leave an unwavering inspiration in us all. My most sincere condolences go out to Mr. Amano’s family, friends, and ADA staff as well as all those who were touched by his works.
With a heavy heart I am saying goodbye to the shining light of aquaristics, who has accompanied and influenced my work and myself for almost two decades. In the nineties, Takashi Amano has initiated a new epoch of our hobby and my job, and I can rightfully say that, without exaggerating.
Underwater landscapes as he showed in his books back then were unthinkable before. But he didn’t stop at that. He also introduced new plant species into the hobby, an algae-eating shrimp, and he contributed the art of photographing his underwater landscapes in a way we had never seen before.
He truly was a pioneer – and he remained one till the end of his life. Dedicating all his power to its creation, he has wrought a monument for himself with the gigantic aquarium in Lisbon.
His company, AquaDesign Amano, has set new standards regarding quality and aesthetics. Takashi Amano’s heart and knowledge have formed the products ADA sells today. This alone would be reason enough for continuing the company as he would have wished. For me, his ADA brand is the absolute flagship in the freshwater aquarium trade.
And let me mention the IAPLC contest, of course. Our hobby would be in a whole other place without this beautiful championship. Here, aquascapers from around the globe come together year after year to show their creativity and the feeling that binds them together: the passion, which was born by one person alone – Takashi Amano.
Today I am grieving for a passionate, honorable and cordial family man, and I wish Takashi Amano’s entire family a lot of strength to cope with their painful loss. I am going to miss you, Takashi Amano Sensei! In deepest grief and with the utmost respect