Tokio Ueyama

Tokio Ueyama

Tokio (far left) and Suye Ueyama (second from left) pictured with friends outside of their art studio in the Granada Relocation Center during WW2


Tokio Ueyama was born on September 22, 1889 in Wakayama, Japan, and immigrated to the U.S, to attend art school in San Francisco. He graduated from the University of Southern California, then entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In 1919, he received a year-long scholarship to study in Europe, and travelled extensively in Mexico. Settling in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, he and friends T.B. Okamura, a poet, and artist Sekishun Uyeno formed the art salon Shaku-Do Sha that included artists Toyo Miyatake, Henry Sugimoto, Paul Landacre, actor Sessue Hayakawa, opera singer Yoshie Fujiwara, cinematographer James Wong Howe, choreographer Michio Ito, and collaborated with Edward Weston and Diego Rivera.

During WWII, Ueyama and his wife Suye were incarcerated in Camp Amache in Grenada, CO, where Ueyama continued to be active as an artist, painting and teaching art classes to fellow internees. They returned to Los Angeles in 1946, where they founded Bunkado.

To commemorate Bunkado’s 75th anniversary, we are proud to introduce a collection of greeting cards of some of Ueyama’s most beautiful artwork. The cards are packaged in a custom gift box featuring a charming self-portrait sketch we found in one of his old journals. Printed locally at Elite Graphics in Little Tokyo.

-Irene Tsukada-Simonian


Each of these paintings are showcased on our 2nd floor. Stop by the store to see them in person!

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