Woodblock. Born 1921 Oita Prefecture.
Educated at Taheiyo Art School where he studied under the woodblock print master, Munakata Shiko.
Permanent Collections: the British Museum, London; the National Museum of England, National Art Museum Victoria, Australia; National Museum of Scotland; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa, Israel.
Akiyama was deeply influenced by the wondering haiku poet and Zen priest, Santouka Taneda. In his wonderfully naive and whimsical woodblock images, Akiyama often adds simple sayings of profound meaning. The wondering monk with his staff or the owl, are recurring themes in his works.
There is something appealingly rough and unfinished about these prints, first in their use of folk-craft paper, spotted with bits of the outer bark of the mulberry shrub, and second in the rough edges of the images. This is clearly an intentional avoidance of elegant refinement, which at times fools the eye, making leaves seem to quiver and animals emerge from camouflaging backgrounds.