Setsuo Hamanaka was born in 1956 in Yokohama, Japan. His first career was a news photographer of Press Kanagawa in Yokohama. He became freelance photo jornalist in 1987 and started drawing illustrations for magazines and publishings. In 1988, he reproduced 16 historical busses in real illustrations as a commission from City of Yokohama Transportation Bureau, and it was the first major work of his illustrations.
His works in early days of freelance were mainly for automobile magazines and books. But soon he started dwawing nature illustrations for other magazines and nature books. As a jornalist, he works for some fishing magazines and sometimes he draw cartoons for them.
Fishing is partly on business and partly for a lifetime hobby. He visited USA, both East Coast and West Coast, Saipan, Australia, Indonesia, Maldives, Italy, Spain and all over Japan. He writes articles about his fishing trip. And sometimes he coordinate fishing trip for a TV program.
In 2001, he started working oil paintings of marine wildlife with his accumulated experience. His main concern is saltwater game fishes in tropical water mainly in the South Pacific but he paints other species in all over the world as well. He also likes to paint seascapes as an environment of a game fish.
Selected member of the First Okinotori-shima Island Inspecting Party organized by the Nippon Foundation. Okinotori-shima is in the face of submergence by global warming.
November 2006 - January 2007
Stayed in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador as a short term ODA expert sent by Japan International Cooperation Agency, joined Galapagos Marine Reserve Conservation Project, worked for reducing illegal fishing and over catch in the local fishery.
Member of the Amamo Revival Collaboration in Kanagzawa-Hakkei, Tokyo Bay Area, working for revival of Amamo (eelgrass) meadows in the Tokyo Bay.