Koichi Nomiyama

Name Koichi Nomiyama
Born September 14 1900
Died September 1 1984
Birth Location Kyushu, Japan
Generational Identifier


Issei painter Koichi Nomiyama (1900-1984) was born in Kyushu, Japan, on September 14, 1900, and immigrated to the United States when he was twenty years old. He studied art at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco in 1926, and participated in Sangenshoku Ga Kai exhibitions with fellow Issei artists Teikichi Hikoyama and Kiyoo Harry Nobuyuki in 1927. That same year, he began exhibiting regularly with the San Francisco Art Association, and had some of his oil paintings included in the inaugural exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Art. [1] One of his paintings, "Man Holding Mandolin," was exhibited in the 1929 San Francisco Art Association exhibition and was later reproduced in the early Japanese American arts and literary anthology Ayumi , published in 1980.

In 1942, Nomiyama was incarcerated with his wife at the Merced Assembly Center in California, and later at Amache , Colorado. With fellow artist Tokio Ueyama , he supervised the art department at the Amache camp that offered classes to inmates three times a day, three days a week.

Following his release in 1945, he moved to New York. It is not certain whether Nomiyama ever lived in San Francisco again before returning to Japan in 1974.

He died in Japan in September 1984.

Authored by Patricia Wakida

For More Information

Chang, Gordon H., Mark Dean Johnson, and Paul J. Karlstrom, editors. Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 . Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008.


  1. Gordon H. Chang, Mark Dean Johnson, and Paul J. Karlstrom, editors, Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008), 401.

Last updated Feb. 20, 2024, 5:58 a.m..