Gyoji Nomiyama, Renowned Japanese Painter of Western Style, Dies at 102

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Gyoji Nomiyama stands in front of his work, “Wasureta Hi,” at the Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art in December last year.

Gyoji Nomiyama, a Western-style painter who explored his own inner world with bold colors and brushstrokes, died of heart failure on Thursday. He was 102.

Funeral services have been held with his family in attendance.

Nomiyama was born in Honami, a former coal mining village that is now Iizuka City in Fukuoka Prefecture.

After graduating from Tokyo Fine Arts School (the present-day Tokyo University of the Arts), he went to Manchuria, currently the northeast region of China, as a soldier. After being demobilized from the army, he went to Paris in 1952 and returned to Japan in 1964.

In 1958, he received the Yasui Award, a gateway to success for Western-style painters.

Nomiyama was also known as a talented writer. He received the Japan Essayist Club award in 1978 for his work, “Yonhyakuji no Dessan (A Drawing with Four Hundred Characters).”

As many of his schoolmates died during World War II, Nomiyama served as an adviser for Mugonkan, an art museum in Ueda, Nagano Prefecture that displays paintings by art students who died in the war.

He was an Order of Culture recipient and professor emeritus of Tokyo University of the Arts.