Hisashi Fukushima, a 44-year-old man from Hidaka City, was born with a serious learning impediment, but this handicap has in no way gotten the better of him. This truly gifted individual is an awe-inspiring artist with an unbridled passion for the beauty of the railway system. Fukushima’s photographic memory and steady hands have allowed him to recreate many life-like scenes of trains upon their tracks in paintings as well as paper craft. His faithful renditions of Japan’s railways have earned him a number of prizes in art exhibitions, and one glance at his work makes it obvious why! Keep reading for a sample of Hisashi Fukushima’s stellar art portfolio.

Hisashi Fukushima began drawing trains when he was just three years old. He was so fascinated by the railways and train cars that he saw on his way to the child consultation center in Kawagoe City, he began to draw them. In time, his artistic abilities developed, but that child-like fascination with trains never wore off. Hisashi’s Father, now 71, spoke with initial reporters about the level of excitement that his son showed whenever the family took a trip up north, for having the chance to see local trains, tracks and stations.

Granted, trains are common subjects in Japan’s modern art scene. After all, the rail system forms the backbone of the country’s public transportation network. What sets Fukushima’s work apart from all of the others is not only the realism of his completed paintings, but also his drawing method. You see, Fukushima doesn’t use reference images for his pictures, nor does his sketch out his ideas in a rough draft. He draws from memory using a black ink pen from the start. He doesn’t even use rulers when drawing rails and telephone poles! He creates these incredibly detailed scenes free-handed in unforgiving black ink, based solely on the image that he holds in his mind. Then, when it comes time to paint, he’s able to set stunning moods with his use of highlights and carefully selected color palates, referencing only the scene as he remembers it. He’s even able to capture natural effects like reflections and atmospheric haze from the image in his mind’s eye.


In addition, as if that’s not enough, Fukushima’s talent doesn’t end with 2-D artwork. This gifted man is also a master of building miniature train models out of thick poster board. These artistic little sculptures are so intricate that you’d never guess that they were made out of paper just by looking at them!

It takes a very steady hand to cut out such small, delicate pieces and glue them perfectly in place without any gaps or ragged edges. On top of that, Fukushima builds his own blueprints, relying on the measurements in his memory to perfect the proportions of his trains and include every last detail, even without a visual reference.


With paintings that pass for photographs and miniatures masquerading as real locomotives, there’s no denying the true talents that this man possesses. Being handicapped has in no way hindered Hisashi Fukushima’s ability to make exceptional achievements. In fact, he is currently working hard in preparation for participation in the Chuo Fine Arts Association’s 65th Exhibition starting October 13, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Taitou Ward! Be sure to check it out for more of Hisashi Fukushima’s recent works.

Source: Mainichi jp via Himajin Sokuhou (Japanese)
Additional Reference: NHK Saitama

▼ The Tracks Continue


▼ Hometown Resource


▼ Seibu-Ikebukuro Line


▼ Iwamisawa Station Grounds


▼ Rikuchuyagi Station


▼ additional works by Hisashi Fukushima




▼ Hisashi Fukushima’s paper trains