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Born in Yamanashi prefecture, Gakusui Ide studied Japanese-style painting with Tamon Yamanouchi and Kanpo Araki. Living in China between 1929 and 1946, he commenced his career as a woodblock artist in 1949, after returning to Japan. In Japan, Gakusui also worked with the famed Shin Hanga publisher Watanabe, focusing on kacho-e (bird-and-flower pictures). He is particularly known for his prints of cranes and herons, which feature distinctly bold geometric lines.