Umetaro Azechi was born in Shikoku, Japan. Azechi was largely self-taught, except for taking a few courses in painting. He moved to Tokyo At age 18 and began working at a print shop, where he had the opportunity to make his own plates. Hiratsuka Un’ichi, one of Japan's foremost wood engravers and a teacher at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, persuaded Azechi to hold his first exhibition. Before World War II, the artist mainly painted landscapes, but after the war Azechi developed his own idiom involving a special geometric technique using strong colors.
The artist’s work is represented at the British Museum, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Boston Museum of Fine Art.