I moved to the US because of my marriage. I was leading a typical Japanese life, but I ended up living here! Life brings lots of surprises.
Yes, American culture has influenced me a lot. I was a traditional calligrapher most of the time, but now I try to incorporate Japanese calligraphy with colors, acrylic, canvas, graphic, and fabric — anything interesting. When I first arrived here, I had to learn English and the culture. It was tough, but I can now say I learned a lot from that and I never gave up wanting to be an artist.
Your work primarily represents traditional Japanese calligraphy, or Kanji. What are the main differences between Chinese and Japanese Kanji?
Kanji and calligraphy originally are from China. Japan adopted both and created its own writing and reading system called hiragana and katakana, which is based on Chinese characters. When I started to learn calligraphy professionally at university in Hiroshima, we learned Chinese calligraphy art and history. They have a beautiful and rich culture. We also learned Japanese calligraphy, too. We share similar characters; however, pronunciation and meaning are sometimes the same and sometime different. Also, Chinese calligraphy uses only kanji characters and Japanese calligraphy uses kanji, hiragana and katakana. There are so many different forms and styles in Calligraphy. I have been doing calligraphy over 30 years, but still there are lots to learn.
In daily life, what are the types of things that inspire you personally?
Family, nature, personal experiences and feelings, photos, music and books.
What has been your biggest challenge as an artist/designer?
The biggest challenge has been learning the business side of the art world.
What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishments are the many performances, workshops, and exhibitions I have participated in since coming to America in 2000. My art licensing agreement with Skinit was also a big accomplishment.
Of all the skins you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite is the Japanese kanji for “dream” because it is simple yet powerful.
Besides creating art for Skinit, what other projects are you currently working on and/or looking forward to?
I am going to be a mom in November! So, I am looking forward to creating cool baby t-shirts with my designs.
It is the year 2020. Where are you, and what are you doing?
I will be in Washington, Oregon or Japan! I am sure I will be creating more Japanese calligraphy art and more art licensing with my designs!