Born at Wakayama, Japan, studied at Tokyo, lived in Ueno as teacher. Masaji (often referred to as such to distinguish him from the other artists with the name Yoshida) studied art at Tokyo before the war, becoming interested in printmaking in Hiratsuka Unichi's class. During a harrowing stint in the Imperial Army, Masaji suffered injury and was a prisoner of war in China. Upon his return to Japan he met Onchi Koshiro and got involved in the sosaku hanga movement. Masaji devised a unique method of printing from a single block that he cut into pieces and then reassembled in a frame to which he attached a sheet of paper, rather than register successive blocks, he would raise individual pieces into relief for each color. He ascribed the characteristic subdued stillness of his woodblocks to his desire for calm after the chaos of the war. Volk, Alicia. MADE IN JAPAN The Postwar Creative Print Movement. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum in association with University of Washington Press, 2005, page 115. (hgs 5/11/09).