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Conscripted as a teenager, Tatsuo Ikeda was in training as a kamikaze pilot when World War II ended. He returned to his hometown in Saga Prefecture, but was criticized for being a militarist and dismissed from a local teaching school. After moving to Tokyo in 1948 to study art, he became a member of artist Taro Okamoto and literary critic Kiyoteru Hanada’s pioneering Avant-garde Art Study Group.

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