Born in Marioka Japan, Tanobe studied under Itaru Tanabe, Chou Ota and Seison Maida. While in France she worked at the studio La Grande Chaumiere in Paris and studied at the Ecole Auperieure National des Beaux-Arts under Chapelain Midy.
In 1971 Tanobe moved to Montreal, Quebec and was immediately drawn to the busy and unique working class areas of the city. Her style of painting, best described as naïve, depicts scenes of everyday life on the street, in the local neighbourhoods, convenience stores and the back lanes of the city with humour and warmth.
Tanobe paints on board, wood and paper using a Nihonga technique, applying hand mixed and ground pigments made of minerals, shells, sand and coral with a fine paint brush. The result is a unique palate that is textured and vibrant in colour and contrast .
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Musee du Quebec
Musee de Joliette
1994 Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
1995 Officer of the National Order of Quebec
2002 Order of Canada
2002 Ordre du Jubilee