Japanese artist, born at Kariya. The ambiguity in the birthdate is the result of a discrepancy between the date given in most sources and a calculation made from the ‘life-date’, which can be deduced from paintings in which he gives his age at the time of making them in days. He was self-taught as an artist. In the early 1950s he came to prominence with violently satirical paintings and drawings of disjointed human figures and corpses in which he portrayed the predicament of Japan after the Second World War. Later he devised a method by which he duplicated an original painting in a number of variations that he called ‘Original Printed Paintings’. In 1959 he left Japan and after extensive travels settled in New York in 1965. From this time he devoted himself to *Conceptual art, notably with a series of I am Still Alive postcards and telegrams sent to friends and other correspondents.
Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)