Kaoru Kawano was born in Hokkaido and studied at the Kawabata Art School beginning in 1934. He had his first prints accepted by the Japan Print Association in 1944. By the 1950s he began to exhibit more frequently in shows around the world.
Some of his prints lean toward the sentimental, particularly his depictions of young children, but his best works are restrained and introduce an effective balance of design elements, some of which are sculptural in quality and arrangement.
Kawano made effective use of woodgrain patterns for both the background and the body of the crane, which provide depth and texture. This use of plywood surface textures was characteristic of the works of many 'sosaku hanga' artists.
'Sosaku hanga' artists took pride in cutting the blocks and printing their own works, in contrast to 'shin hanga' artists, who continued to collaborate with professional block cutters and printers.