A Japanese painter, film maker and performance artist, Arakawa was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1936. He studied art at the Musashino College of Art in Tokyo and mathematics and medicine at Tokyo University. His first one-man show was held at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo in 1958 and he participated in the Yomiuri Independent exhibitions from 1958- 1961, as well as the "anti-art" activities of the Neo-Dadaism Organizers in Tokyo in 1960.
Arakawa's work was featured in museums throughout Europe and the United States during the 1970s and in 1981, a large retrospective of his work was organized by the Staadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich.
Arakawa produced eight relief prints for "Eureka, An Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe", by Edgar Allen Poe. The illustrations are printed from type and photoengravings in grey and black ink and they are numbered and signed by the artist. "Eureka" was exhibited in 1992 at the Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery in New York.