Akiyama was born in southern Japan. He took drawing lessons from a buddhist monk as a child. He originally trained in oil painting. He turned to woodblock printmaking when he met Shiko Munakata whom he studied with from 1959-1965. Akiyama has a subtle sense of humor evident in the animals that appear in his woodblock prints.
Akiyama takes time out from woodblock printmaking to read Haiku. Haiku has provided Akiyama with a source of guidance for his work and his life.
Museum Collections: National Museum of England, London; National Art Museum in Victoria, Australia; Museum of Japanese Art in Haifa, Israel; National Museum of Scotland; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; British Museum.