Animal photographer Mitsuaki Iwago’s personal motto is “If cats are happy, that means all human beings are happy!”

Iwago chose to focus on photographing animals at the young age of 19 after he visited the Galapagos Islands and was awestruck by the overwhelming abundance of fascinating nature he saw there. Since then, his heartwarming images have won him fans across generations.

Some of the photos for this show depict cats’ reactions to the photographer. They appear so friendly and familiar with Iwago’s presence that it almost seems as if he is having a conversation with them. The exhibition showcases some 150 images from Iwago’s 40-year career; till June 3.

Sano Art Museum; (055) 975 7278; 1-43, Nakata-machi, Mishima, Shizuoka; Mishima Station, Tokaido Main Line. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ¥1,000. Closed Thu. www.sanobi.or.jp.

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