Yasuji Inoue was born in Tokyo in 1864. It is possible that he attended the printmaking school of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi at an early age. When he was fourteen, he became a student of Kobayashi Kiyochika, an artist who was experimenting with Western style and elements as Western art concepts flooded into Japan.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the art scene was heavily influenced by French Impressionism and Kobayashi and his student, Inoue, began integrating the effects of light and shadow into their prints. These were concepts that were foreign to the ukiyo-e style. Kobayashi and Inoue would produce several versions of the same print, for instance, one at daylight and one at night.
Among the better- known Inoue print works is a series of postcards titled, “Tokyo meisho” (Famous Views of Tokyo). Inoue was also known as Yasujiro, his given name at birth, which he frequently used to sign his prints.