I was born in Okinawa, Japan and grew up learning the skills and philosophy of traditional crafts in a family that has passed down traditional arts and culture for generations.
I went on to study contemporary art in Kyoto and also worked at a pottery studio. I take pride in being a contemporary artist who has developed skills in various traditional crafts. In fact, I believe that tradition can play a role in cutting-edge ideas and artwork.
My hometown, Okinawa is a popular small island known in Japan as the “land of the gods”. I returned there after completing my studies and began to explore the incorporation in my artwork of the god known as Shisa. This deity is represented as a lion and is said to have originated from the Egyptian sphinx. The sphinx travelled from Egypt to Europe, then through she Silk Road in Asia and China to finally arrive in Okinawa. There, it was influenced by Okinawa’s traditional culture and became the guardian god, Shisa, widely known throughout Japan.
Shisa originated from primitive religion combining nature worship and ancestor worship. It is considered among many Japanese people to protect freedom and happiness throughout life.
I have explored the artistic representation of Shisa using a variety of materials and techniques, including ceramics, painting and woodcuts. I use traditional Japanese materials such as Sumi, Japanese paper and Bengara.
My artwork aims to promote the idea of harmony with our natural environment and to encourage respect among races and religions.