Ages 0 - 6

I was drawing from as early as I can remember

I remember having a vague memory of when I was a fetus. I used to love doodling on fliers and all I did was draw with my younger sister and older brother. I grew up with animals since I was very young, experiencing their death even as a young child and was the kind of child who thought about views of life and death. I was already interested in mononoke (spirits) and yokai (ghosts and goblins) back then and have had strange experiences. In other words, I tried to draw the universe through Buddhist statutes that are not open to public and hidden deep inside the temples.

Ages 6 - 18

I started drawing pictures of animals from this period

When I was in elementary school, I was the type of child who would run around and play on the banks of Chikuma river or in the mountains and love to feel the mononoke (spirits) in the nature. I spent more time on drawing than on school work and made my mother worry. I also had an active side and learned martial arts using ‘Naginata’, the Japanese spear. But it was difficult for me to feel comfortable at school and felt my emotions turning darker during middle school .

Drawing animals became precious time for me during those days. And I started to believe strongly that I was born to be an artist.

Ages 18 - 22

I finally found the line (copperplate print) I had sought for a long time.

When I was in elementary school, I was the type of child who would run around and play on the banks of Chikuma river or in the mountains and love to feel the mononoke (spirits) in the nature. I spent more time on drawing than on school work and made my mother worry. I also had an active side and learned martial arts using ‘Naginata’, the Japanese spear. But it was difficult for me to feel comfortable at school and felt my emotions turning darker during middle school .

Drawing animals became precious time for me during those days. And I started to believe strongly that I was born to be an artist.

Ages 22 - 24

My destiny changed after meeting my supporter

I moved from one part-time job to another after graduating from college and kept on drawing while living in a 50,000 yen a month apartment in Fujimi-cho, Nakano. Through a connection made at one of the part-time jobs, I was introduced to a company that sold art to department stores like Takashimaya. While I worked there part-time, I had people look at my paintings and asked for their opinions. But nobody really appreciated my work and I remained unrecognized. It was during those days when a producer showed interest in my paintings and he became my greatest supporter. From then on, my life as a painter gained momentum.

Ages 25 - 26

I started having media exposure as the “The too beautiful copperplate print artist”

As a result of meeting the producer who understood and appreciated my work, I drew the painting for the tribute album cover for Yu Aku. I started getting jobs and appearing on media. I actually feel quite shy about it but I started getting exposures around this time as the “Too beautiful copperplate print artist”. I organized and had my past works framed and started feeling professionalism and responsibility. I became even more aggressive than before in creating new works. I also spent a lot of time meeting people and utilized what I gained from those encounters as the nutrition for my paintings.

Ages27

I experienced my turning point as a professional painter in New York

I had been making only small pieces until then and just couldn’t bring myself to draw a large piece. I heard that there was going be a large art auction in New York and thought that attending it will raise my motivation and awareness. So I visited New York with a curator. The art auction I saw meant a lot to me. The paintings in the galleries and offices and the visits to the artists’ studio gave a deep impact on my small and closed mind. Feeling the energy of the international stage that I aspire to join someday, it was a natural course for me to try large pieces after returning to Japan.

Age 28

This was a year in which I felt the nature and the view of earth and established the basis of my mind

I have always enjoyed traveling and took photos as a hobby. Renowned photographer, Mr Yamagishi, thought highly of my photos and my very first solo show turned out to be a photo show at the Olympus Gallery. Few months later, I held a solo show at Sakaki Museum of Tetsu in my hometown. Sakaki-machi is the origin of my paintings and being able to start my challenge to go out to the world from there had an important meaning to me. Also the view of nature I felt in Uganda is the view of the Earth and it established the basis of my mind. Working in Azumino gave me the chance to produce Mononoke (spirits) and Goshinboku (sacred trees) series. I also had the chance to design kimono with the kimono manufacturer from Kyoto and my work really broadened this year.

Age 29

Feeling the beauty of Japan and of the world

I started working on large pieces at my studio in Sakaki. I discovered how much it feels good to draw on a big canvas. As part of my collaboration with the traditional crafts, I drew on the hookah, which is popular in Dubai, made specially in Arita porcelain and broadened the outlet for my expression. I also had solo shows at two venues simultaneously at Lake Kawaguchi and learned the importance of having deep knowledge of the local folklore and the land. I was also nominated as the representative of Japan for the exhibition held in Paris by the manufacturer of arches paper imported by Maruman that I usually use. I learned how wonderful the papers from France are and realized once again the beauty of Europe. This was also the year I did my first live painting at Kukai Theater and experienced the joy of drawing in front of an audience.

Age 30

Thanking the various encounters and connections and on to the next stage

I had the honor to dedicate my work to the Izumo Shrine. It was a year of gratitude for all the prosperity resulting from meeting people. Painting the piece at a private house next to the Izumo Shrine was a precious time for me to be deeply involved with my personal themes like the universe, god, equality and views on life and death and it was a period for me to learn and grow. Right after presenting my work to Izumo Shrine, I went to Los Angeles where I met wonderful people and strongly felt the destined connections we have with others. I had the chance to draw “49 Days” again based on a storyline for my solo show at Gallery Saihodo and it became a wonderful time for me to answer my own questions on how the soul lives. I received the advice and artistic knowledge from the gallery owner, Mr. Toshio Honjo, in creating this piece and was able to broaden my expressive style.

I am determined to continue drawing sincerely and honestly as a painter. I have just started my 30’s, having experienced my 20’s and I am really looking forward to my life from now on.