Hirayama was born in Setoda-cho, Hiroshima Prefecture (present-day Onomichi City) on June 15, 1930. He studied at and graduated from the Department of Japanese Painting of the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. He entered the offices of Tokyo University of the Arts upon graduation from the Tokyo School of Fine Arts in 1952, and retired as president in 1995. He served again as the president of Tokyo University of the Arts from 2001 to 2005. He won an award for the first time in the at Inten fine arts exhibition promoted by Nihon Bijutsuin (Japan Art Institute) for his work “Ieji (Homeward Bound)” in 1953. He became a member of the Nihon Bijutsuin in 1964, where he served as the chairperson of the board of directors. He was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 1998.
He furthermore, served as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador and a special adviser in charge of world heritage; a specially-appointed executive director of the Tokyo National Museum, and a chairperson of the board of directors of the Foundation for Cultural Heritage and Art Research, which advocates Red Cross activities for cultural heritage.
Passed away on December 2, 2009 at the age of 79.