Born in Kumamoto City, USHIJIMA intended to be a painter from early childhood. In 1919, he entered the Aoibashi Institute of Western-style Paintings as he failed to enter the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. At last he could pass the examination of the school in 1922, and studied under OKADA Saburosuke. In 1949, USHIJIMA withdrew the Sogen-kai with SUDA Hisashi, and organized the Ryuki-kai. He taught in the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music from 1954, and worked as a professor there from 1965 to 1968. In 1983, USHIJIMA received the Order of Culture. He died in Tokyo.
A work from the period when Ushijima was “using colors lined up like mosaic tiles” as he himself said. It shows the Sagami River at Yose in Tsukui County, Kanagawa Prefecture, a place that is now sunk at the bottom of Lake Sagami.