Iwashita was born in Tokyo, where he studied at the Tama Imperial Art School (now the Tama Art University). Like Sadao Watanabe, whose art his resembles, Iwashita made a name for himself as a textile dyer, specializing in stencils. He brought that sensibility to his printmaking, working with both stencils and woodblocks to create compositions based on the repeated forms characteristic of textile patterns.Iwashita’s prints deploy these Japanese techniques to depict Judeo-Christian themes. Although the Japanese for centuries combined the seemingly mutually exclusive religious beliefs of Shinto and Buddhism into harmonious everyday spiritual practices, Christianity has proven harder to reconcile with these traditions, and Christians make up a small percentage of the Japanese population. Iwashita’s prints, such as Noah’s Ark No. 2, were meant to create a bridge between Japanese culture and western beliefs.