Chikuunsai IV Tanabe was born in Sakai City of the Osaka Prefecture in Japan in 1973, and graduated from Osaka Craft High School in 1992 with a focus on fine art. He studied sculpture at Tokyo Art University until 1999.
Tanabe was born into one of Japan's most prestigious bamboo pedigrees, representing the fourth generation of bamboo artists in his family. From a young age, he gravitated towards bamboo, making his first piece when he was only 7 or 8. He is active in Japan and internationally, exhibiting and demonstrating in the USA, UK, New Zealand, Switzerland and Korea. His work is included in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum Fine Art of Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.