Born in Kofu, Hideo Hagiwara attended Tokyo School of Fine Arts, studying under Un'ichi Hiratsuka, a pioneer of the Sosaku Hanga, or "creative print," movement. Hagiwara graduated in 1938, but his artistic career was put on hold when he was conscripted into the army in 1943. He returned to printmaking in 1950, working with the creative print movement's philosophy that art was self expression and consequently should be the product of a single creator. For some of his best known abstract prints, Hagiwara moved directly from conceptualization to woodblock carving without any intermediary sketch. His works are recognized as some of the most influential post-WWII Japanese prints.