Following internment with his Japanese-born parents at the beginning of World War II, Kamihira was drafted into the U.S. Army. On the GI Bill he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts where he studied with Walter Stuempfig and Francis Speight. Kamihira has taught at the Pennsylvania Academy and Pennsylvania State University, and he served as artist-in-residence at Rice University in Houston. His aesthetic roots can be traced to the Venetian masters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—Veronese, Tintoretto, Guardi—and his early landscapes, figural subjects, and religious themes reflect his interest in Baroque compositional devices. Yet Kamihira is also indebted to recent movements. His abiding interest in dramatic lighting and surface textures—he executes satins and brocades with exquisite attention to tactile effects—and his use of illogical viewpoints and spatial arrangements suggest links with European Surrealism of the 1930s.
Virginia M. Mecklenburg Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1987)