Q: How long have you been an artist, and what was your first memory of the art process?
A: I am not sure what I should categorize myself as. Whatever I am I have been obsessed by beauty ever since infancy. I tried to create my impressions of it when I was 3 by drawing a big mural on one of the sliding screen doors in the house where I grew up in Japan with the 12 color box of crayons my grandfather had given me the day before. The crayons vanished the next day.
Q: Have you been trained, and if so from what institution? Or are you self- taught?
A: I went to The Kanazawa College of Art where I received a BFA. Shortly after that, I went to the School of The Art Institute of Chicago for graduate studies. But my real training started in the real world. I have been a serious student ever since.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Beauty, both natural and artificial.
Q: Was your family supportive of your artistic endeavors?
A: They must have been, as they never objected.
Q: Is there someone special who has encouraged your work and your path as an artist?
A: My grandfather was my first role model. He was a calligrapher, master of flower arrangements, and a collector of art, antiques and books. He was also a politician and a sake brewer. He neither encouraged nor discouraged me.
Q: What is an artist’s role in society, if any, in your opinion?
A: To give us hope and dreams to help cope with the increasingly difficult and complex world we live in these days.
Q: If you could meet any artist who is no longer living, who would it be and why?
A: Alexandros of Antioch who created Venus of Milos; Leonardo da Vinci; and the artist who created the drawings in the Grotte de Lascaux in France because they caught the essence of ultimate Beauty.
Q: If you could do any project with full funding what would it be?
A: I’d like to paint scenes from ancient myths (especially Ovid’s “The Metamorphoses”) or some fairytales when I want something light hearted.
Q: Finish this sentence: I do my best work when…
A: After a long search I finally find an idea that's visually exciting to me. But it’s not necessarily “work”!
Q: Finish this sentence: I feel overwhelmingly happy when…
A: I see an empty board with my perfect image, buried there and waiting to be uncovered by me.
Q: If I could live this life over I would… (would you do anything differently?)
A: I would be a little nicer to my father.
Q: What challenges do you face as an artist and what advice do you have for other artists?
A: The world is changing at an ever faster pace. I have to think constantly to find the balance between my internal need, and the need to fill the external necessity. However artists choose to behave in society, the only important thing is ones artwork.
Q: What comes next, do you have anything you would like to share?
A: There is one painting and two drawing commissions I have to complete as soon as possible. Oh yes, and one more painting before the end of the year.
Q: What is your greatest achievement as an artist and your biggest disappointment?
A: I haven’t done anything I could call a great achievement. At the end every time I finish the last touch, the work is always, somehow, a disappointment.
Q: Has your participation in the Miroir Magazine print issue helped your career as an artist in any way?
A: I’m sure it helped me to make contact with viewers. I am very happy that you have given me such a wonderful opportunity to put my work in front of your readers.