Tamura was born in what is now Sugamo, Tokyo. He was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1943, and although he did not see combat, the fact that many of his friends died in the war left him psychologically scarred.
In 1947, after World War II, he revived the literary magazine Arechi (“The Waste Land”), with his surviving school friends, and became an important figure in post-war modern Japanese poetry. His first poetry anthology, Yosen no hi no yoru (“Four Thousand Days and Nights”, 1956), introduced a hard tone to modern Japanese poetry, using paradoxes, metaphors, and sharp imagery to describe the sense of dislocation and crisis experienced by people who had suffered through the rapid modernization of Japan and the destruction of World War II. With the publication of Kotoba no nai sekai (“World Without Words”, 1962), he was established as a major poet. He was awarded the prestigious Yomiuri Prize In 1984.Click here for more poetry and biographical information.