Why Does a Martial Artist Paint?

Discover the paintings & calligraphy of martial arts grandmaster, Masaaki Hatsumi.


A Lifetime of Art

Hatsumi Sensei’s art reveals a lifetime of training but is created spontaneously for students as gifts. His paintings communicate philosophic and strategic advice that transcends culture, language and era. His art connects students directly with their teacher and an ancient martial tradition.

Until now, Hatsumi Sensei’s paintings were
only available to students training at his dojo.
But the book Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art makes his art
available to you for the first time.

Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art


Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art is a book of photographs taken between 2009 and 2013. Layouts incorporate calligraphy and paintings by Hatsumi Sensei with action shots of Sensei teaching students in his dojo.

  • Traditional hand-stitched binding
  • 21.5 cm x 30 cm
  • 242 full color pages
  • Printed on 157 gsm art quality paper stock
  • A prologue by Masaaki Hatsumi
  • An introduction by the photographer, Steve Olsen
  • English translations of the artist’s Japanese calligraphy
  • Never before seen action photos of Hatsumi Sensei teaching in Japan
  • Includes a slipcase to protect your book

Only 2,000 of these first edition books were made.


Own Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art

To purchase one of the last remaining copies, please visit Paper Hammer.
Paper Hammer is an extension of the fine art book publishing company Marquand Books,
which has published books for over 250 museums.

Order the book

Bruce Helander interviews Masaaki Hatsumi

Bruce Helander is a writer for Huffington Post, former White House Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and Editor-in-Chief of the Art Economist. In 2014 he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.

In 2001, Masaaki Hatsumi traveled from Japan to Washington D.C. to teach a martial arts seminar.  While there, he met with Bruce Helander to discuss his art.

In this video we illustrate excerpts from the interview with photography from the book, Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art. Join us to learn more about Masaaki Hatsumi’s art and his purpose.

More about Bruce Helander is on his site and on Huffington Post.

“I see Hatsumi Sensei’s heart and soul reaching out from these works. I am struck by his personality and his inexhaustible spirit. His soul finds bursts of expression through his martial and artistic actions, making these works and photos truly moving.”
— Shunkei Yahagi, Artist of Japanese Calligraphy

Kickstarter Funded, Available Now

Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art was published as a Kickstarter project. It raised double its funding goal and we already delivered books to all our supporters.

Only 2,000 books were published and a small number of books remain available for purchase.

Hatsumi Sensei normally paints only for students at his dojo in Japan so the public has had few chances to see his work. Owning this book is a rare opportunity to discover this contemporary artist and experience his arts.

Award Winning Book Design


See the winners of PRINT Regional Design Annual 2014 and see more about the award here.

Winner of PRINT Magazine’s Regional Design Annual 2014

From nearly 4,000 submissions, PRINT Magazine’s Regional Design Annual selected Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art as one of 350 best designs created in America.

It is the corroborative result of award-winning book designer Dan Saal, translator Yuno Dinnie and photographer Steve Olsen.

Featured on Adobe’s Behance


Behance (an Adobe business unit) curates a gallery of creative projects featuring great design. This gallery showcases work and promotes talented designers.

Our book relies on design to integrate Hatsumi Sensei’s many arts so we are proud to be included in their gallery.

This recognition from Behance and the design community is another proof of our designer’s success. Congratulations Dan Saal!

See Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art on Behance.

“Alive, thrilling and contemporary… These works are a direct dialogue with the recipient and are both didactic and inspirational. Each image conveys a narrative and a relationship with both the viewer and history.”
— Paul Fisher, Owner of Paul Fisher Gallery

Contact Us

Would you like to write a book review or publish an article about Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art? Please use the contact form. I’m happy to help.



Steve Olsen
Photographer & Publisher,
Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Art

Featured on

Masaaki Hatsumi’s Art Prints

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