Born in Takasaki, Gunma as Sentaro Shimura, Tatsumi Shimura began his career in 1924 as an apprentice to Shuho Yamakawa. Like many artists at the time, Tatsumi worked as an illustrator for magazines, book covers, and newspapers in addition to his career as a painter. While he built his reputation as artist through his bijin-ga paintings, Tatsumi released woodblocks prints with the publisher Junzo Kato between 1948 and 1952. Tatsumi turned away from printmaking at the age of 60, devoting his time to nihonga painting. Professionally, he served as both director and chairman of the Shuppan Bijutsuka Renmei (Union of the Artists and Publications).