Tadashi Nakayama was born in Niigata. In 1945, he enrolled at Tama College of Art to study oil painting however, he left after two years to pursue a career in woodblock prints and lithographs. His work is typically abstract, concentrating on depictions of horses and using a progressively lighter pallet as his career developed. His compositional style also evolved, becoming increasingly complex as he moved from flat and simple works towards prints inspired by Persian, Byzantine and Renaissance compositions. His prints earned him global success and have been featured in galleries and collections in Europe, America and Asia.