Ichiro Tsuruta was born in 1954 in Amakusa City in Kumamoto Prefecture.
He was a boy who went out to play in the nearby mountains and rivers immediately after coming home from school, but also demonstrated an artistic ability from that time, and always won awards in sketching competitions.
Around his second year in junior high school, Tsuruta began to hold an admiration for Keiichi Tanaami, Akira Uno and Tadanori Yokoo and others, he aimed at becoming an illustrator. After graduation from high school, Tsuruta continued on to Tama Art University, where he majored in graphic design. The time Tsuruta spent at university was during an era when Superrealism was sweeping over the design world. He mastered the use of an airbrush by himself, and drew in the style that was in fashion those days.
In 1987, a while after Tsuruta had begun to work in that manner, the Art Director at Noevir at the time, Yusaku Kamekura, fell in love with Tsuruta’s work at first sight, and it was adopted for the company’s advertisements. Though that, “Tsuruta-style bijin-ga paintings” were exposed to the public in a wide range of media from poster to magazines, television, and more.
Having taken a step toward the world of art, Tsuruta aspired to the level of artists of the Rimpa school like Tawaraya Sotatsu, Ogata Korin and Sakai Hoitsu. Although the Rimpa style was initially born in the 17th century Edo Period as commercial design, it has been sublimated to art as time has passed and even exerted an influence on Art Nouveau and Art Deco. He continues to strive towards establishing his unique style and lives and works in Kyoto, Japan.