Born in Tokyo, Akatsuka Jitoku was the seventh generation of a family of lacquer craftsmen. In addition to his training in lacquer, he learned Nihonga painting from Kano Hisanobu and Terazaki Kogyo (1866-1919) and then went on to study Western-style painting at the Hakubakai Kenkyujo (the Institute of the White Horse Society) in 1912. As a result he was able to modernize his craft by adding an element of Western naturalism to his otherwise very traditional, conservative lacquer techniques. Jitoku won a gold medal at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. In 1930 he was appointed Imperial Artist, a member of the elite Teikoku geijutsuin (the Imperial Art Academy). Several examples of his work were selected by the imperial household as official presentation gifts.