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Gihachiro Okuyama (1907-1981)

Gihachiro Okuyama (奥山 儀八郎, Okuyama Gihachirō, February 17, 1907 – October 1, 1981) was a 20th-century Japanese commercial artist and woodblock printmaker. He was a prolific artist of the shin-hanga and sōsaku-hanga styles. Okuyama is noted for his landscape prints, both in color and black-and-white, as well as his simple prints of scenes that interject elements of the modernization of Japan into an otherwise traditional view.

He began as a commercial artist, creating advertising art for many different companies and establishing his own advertising company in 1931. He created successful commercial art for the Japan Wool Company and Nikka Whiskey.

Okuyama studied printmaking with Gajin Kosaka beginning in 1923, as well as with noted artist Kendo Ishii, and began exhibiting prints with the Nihon Sosaku Hanga Association in 1927. During World War 2, he was a member of the Nihon Hanga Hokokai, an organization created to ensure access to production materials for hanga artists during the war. After the end of the war, he created the Nihon Hanga Kenkyusho to develop an avenue for hanga artists to publish and market their works.

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