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Born in Yamagata prefecture in 1907, Gihachiro Okuyama was an active member of both the sosaku hanga, or “creative print,” and shin hanga, or “new print,” movements. Gihachiro Okuyama began formal artistic study with Gajin Kosaka in 1923, as well as with Kendo Ishii, and began regularly exhibiting prints with Nihon Sosaku-Hanga Kyokai in 1927. Between 1928 and 1931, Okuyama produced around 40 poster designs for the watercolor printer Hidekichi Uchida, as well as woodblock-printed commercial advertisements for companies such as the Japan Wool Company and Nikka Whiskey. Gihachiro Okuyama founded the Tokyo Advertisement Art Association (Tokyo Kokoku Bijutsu Kyokai) in 1931 and contributed prints to the series One Hundred Views of Great Tokyo (Dai Tokyo Hyakkei) the following year. In 1942, Okuyama joined Umetaro Azechi and Uichi Takayama in the found of Shin Hanga Kyokai.
During the war, Okuyama participated in Nihon Hanga Hokokai, an organization where sosaku hanga and shin hanga artists worked together to obtain printing materials during wartime. He began his own publishing firm, the Japan Print Institute (Nihon Hanga Kenkyusho), following the war. The firm published reproductions of famous ukiyo-e prints, but folded in 1948. Unfazed, Okuyama founded a print workshop Matsudo in 1954, printing his own landscapes in addition to facsimiles of famous Eastern and Western artworks. Gijin, Okuyama’s son and woodblock print artist in his own right, carved the blocks and took over the workshop in 1973.