HANNO, Saitama Pref. -- Sadao Kiyota airbrushes colors on the shutters of the Tonki tofu kitchen, which is closed one recent Monday as are neighboring stores on the Hanno Ginza shopping street near Seibu Hanno Station in Saitama Prefecture.

Passersby occasionally stop to watch him paint without the aid of a preliminary sketch. He started early in the morning, and after working outside for half the day the 67-year-old finishes an image of a traditional tofu kitchen.

Despite the physically demanding job, Kiyota considers his "shutter art" his lifework and his contribution to revitalizing small shopping streets.