Kodo Chijiiwa was born in 1976, in Saga, Japan and has resided in Yakushima since 2003. After he graduated from Tokyo Design Academy, in the Illustration Career Course in 2000, Kodo participated in Nobuyoshi Araki’s portrait project as a model. He decided to become a photographer after being fascinated by Araki’s process of making one piece of photography. In 2006, Kodo studied DPE at the Manuel Alvarez Bravo photography school workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2008, after working as an assistant of Iris Janke, he had his first solo exhibition and worked as a freelance photographer in Berlin, Germany. Kodo returned to Japan to participate in various exhibitions and photo productions in his home country. In the Fall of 2014, Kodo encountered a French photographer, Antonin Borgeaud, in Yakushima, Japan. Then in 2015, the two photographers founded the Yakushima Photography Festival (YPF) along with Art Director, Cleo Charuet. They organized the first Yakushima Photography Festival in October 2015. In November of that year, during Paris Photo, YPF won the best gallery award at Photo Doc, Paris, France. YPF has also received many positive reviews when they exhibited the YPF gallery during Arles 2016 & 2017&2018: Les Rencontres de la photographie d’Arles. In 2019, Exhibited at International Photo Festival Incadaques (Cadaques, Spain) from YPF and also Kodo was invited as a portfolio reviewer at Rokkosan International Photo Festival (Kobe, Japan) from YPF.
In 2019, Kodo was invited as the first artist in residence photographer of BZH PHOTO to be held at Loguivy de la Mer located in Brittany France, and exhibited in July of the same year. Kodo’s otherworldly and sensitive photography style has attracted many viewers and has fascinated collectors all over the world.