On Nepal’s natural trails


He has just completed trekking around the Annapurna Conservation Area Project, and this 78-year-old Japanese man has already sketched 40 pictures based on his treks.

Masahiro Itoh, who is here for the fourth time, is taken in by Nepal and her beauty. His work reflect Nepal’s art and culture, and her natural diversity and speak of the Nepali traditions.

A resident of a village near Tokyo, the capital of Japan, Masahiro says, “Trekking among the high hilly areas and painting the scenes that I see there are some of the pleasures of my life.”

He says that it takes him about half-an-hour to complete his sketches once a view or a thing is etched in his mind.

On his fourth visit, he started his trek from Bensisahar of Lamjung and over the following three weeks, went through Lamjung, Manang, Mustang, Myagdi, among other places. So, his current sketches are all based on the scenes that he found along the way.

Altogether Masahiro has done over 150 paintings on various subjects pertaining to Nepal.

“Nepal is a beautiful country and her diverse natural beauty and beautiful scenery are enough to lure foreigners,” he says, adding, “I was surprised to see such high mountains here because there are no high mountains in Japan. Mount Fuji at 3,776 metres, is the highest peak in Japan.”

And Masahiro feels “Machhapuchchhre is the most beautiful mountain in the world”.

He is also thinking of organising an exhibition in Japan. “The exhibition will help the Japanese people to get knowledge about Nepal’s natural, cultural and traditional things.”

Masahiro started painting when he was just 20 years old and he says, “Sentiment is essential while painting. Pictures cannot be drawn without an emotion. A painting without sentiment cannot be alive.”

He goes on to say that he feels relaxed seeing his paintings of Nepal when he is Japan.

And of course, he will be returning again, he says.