Kaoru Kawano was born in Otaru, Hokkaido in 1916, and studied at Kawabata art school in 1934. Because his earlier works showed such great promise, they were displayed at the Nihon Hanga Kyokai Exhibition (Japan Print Society) in 1944. He interrupted his print-making activities to join the army, but later was unfortunate to become a prisoner of war in Siberia.
In 1949 he resumed exhibiting with Nihon Hanga Kyokai, and subsequently with Kokugakai in 1952. He moved to Tokyo in 1958, and participated in international competitions and solo exhibitions in New York, Seattle, Chicago, and elsewhere.
His works are characterized by highly textured abstract representations of children.