My skills and experience
Traditional and Not-So-Traditional Art Practice :
I have participated in a couple of Japanese traditional art forms. It taught me that a fascinating Japanese culture has been developed by hundreds of years of people’s creative ideas, actions, thoughts, and life. These art practices not only trained my senses to form, colors, space, movements, selections, and co-creation but also are great resources for me becoming a socially engaged artist.
Shodo, “the way of writing,” is a form of calligraphy, or artistic writing, of the Japanese language. The depth of beauty in Shodo is the result of diverse techniques being accompanied with a flow of brush and ink, essentially with an inner silence/stillness and spiritual concentration.
My Sho Art mentor, Shofu Wakayama, is known as one of the pioneers of breaking a traditional rule of Shodo with creative intention. He found a new style of Japanese Sho expression using colors. Shodo had never had any color but was written in grayscale for centuries, and Shofu was one of the first to incorporate color into the practice . He also used Western-style frames for his work. He encouraged me to integrate my other creative knowledge unrelated to Traditional Shodo or Japanese culture by centering my own curiosity, while having respect for ancestors and my heritage. It was very interesting learning this tradition and its rules, breaking them, and transforming them into something new.
The Japanese tea ceremony, called Sado or Chado, “the way of tea,” is a traditional ritual in which powdered green tea, matcha, is ceremonially prepared and served to a few guests in a tranquil setting of Chasitsu, “tea room.” It is not only serving and drinking tea, but deals with the purpose of living, the way of thinking, religion, art of tea tools, and art works placed in the tea room.
Sado is a collaborative art experience full of Japanese art and craftsmanship created by a team of hosts and guests. I have attended and hosted many different types of Sado ceremonies with friends and teammates. Each experience is unique because it’s always a different time with different people and different conversations. I almost think that Sado could be a traditional version of Art and Social Practice.
2016 Sho Art Group exhibition with Shofu Wakayama, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2015-2018 Practed Sho Art mentored by Shofu Wakayama, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
1992-1996 Practiced Sado(Chado) mentored by Yoko Takeuchi, Mombetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
1982-1987 Practiced Shodo under Japan Shodo Kyokai and Japan Educational Shodo Kyokai, and hold certificates. Mombetsu, Hokkaido, Japan
Educational Experience :
In Japan, we need to decide our major before entering college. When I was in high school, I was interested in a wide range of fields, such as political science, broadcasting, and art. So I chose liberal arts as my first major, so that I can study the basics of everything.
When I came to the United States of America for my study, I was aiming to earn not only academic knowledge and a bachelor degree but also some hands-on creative skills. At ArtCenter, my focus was branding and total visual communication. On top of learning basic design skills, I have studied how to develop culture and value in people’s minds.
One well designed poster is attractive enough, but an entire set of campaigns carries more information in a variety of formats, and it provides more accessibility to people. All the communication pieces including tagline, visual, music, space, interface, and experience eventually build up some kind of image or world in ours. I have always been interested in that result and process. ArtCenter was also full of collaboration. Since it was a studio-focused institution offering nine other majors at that time, students of different majors were able to work together on projects. In other words, we couldn’t survive without collaboration. It taught me how to ask for help, how to communicate with collaborators and/or volunteers, and how it is important to share the excitement.
2022-current Master of Fine Arts in Art and Social Practice Program, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
2004 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
2001 Associate of Arts in Social Behavioral Science, Citrus College, Glendora, California
1997 Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, Hokkaido Musashi Women's Junior College, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Community Related Experience :
Because I grew up in a family that runs a local newspaper company, the idea of community has naturally been a part of my life. I am always curious about the community’s speciality, who they are, how it has been built, how it has been running, and what it aims for the future.
I have learnt that communication is an important key for any kind of community. Communication encourages people and empowers community. My PR work helped our Yosakoi Soran Festival to get sponsors, participants, and audience by spreading the excitement and awareness. It brought the community's fulfillment and the event’s success. Finding interesting news resources for the press also trained my eyes and creativity. To understand others and to be connected within a community, healthy communication is also necessary.
I am almost always in charge of communication within a community and to the public, and it has been a part of my career. Now I am working as a communication hub of Oya No Kai and coordinating programs with many other organizations in Portland and Japan. I am capable of putting ideas together, and getting action going.
2021-present Program Manager of Oya No Kai, Portland, Oregon
2013-208 A member of Tomoe Kindergarten, Sapporo, HOkkaido, Japan
2006-present A board member of Nanka Dosanko Kai (former Southern California Hokkaido Society), Gardena, California
2018-2020 A member of Oya No Kai, Portland, Oregon
2002-2004 President for Japanese Students’ Organization at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
1999-2006 A member of Southern California Hokkaido Society, Los Angeles, California
1999-2003 Administration officer in a Committee for Yosakoi Soran Festival Organizations, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
1997-1998 Assistant Editor for a local magazine “Poroco”, Cosmo Media, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
1995-1997 PR Lead in Yosakoi Soran Festival Organization, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Teaching Experience :
Because I grew up with three younger siblings, I naturally pay attention to others and tend to take care of them. One of my friends once called me mom with a big smile, and another friend mentioned that she felt I was like her grandmother she grew up with. I took those comments as compliments, even though I was determined not to spoil my friends and friendships by caring too much after. Noticing people’s behavior or feelings has helped me better understand others.
In college, one of my instructors told me that I have a talent of being an instructor. I wasn’t sure at that time, but later I realized that I have some education related experience throughout my life. My instructor was probably right. I have enjoyed sharing my experience, thoughts, and ideas with fellow students or participants.
Especially after becoming a mother and having chosen schools and educational environments for my daughter and myself, my interests in education have expanded drastically by learning many educational philosophies and school systems.
2021-present Instructor for Extension Class, Saeki High School, Hiroshima, Japan
2021 Guest Instructor for Kurabu (Online Summer Camp), Richmond Elementary School, Portland, Oregon
2021 Guest Instructor for Kurabu (Online Summer Camp), Mt. Tobor Middle School, Portland, Oregon
2020 Guest Speaker for Career Design Forum, Nara Women’s University Junior High School, Nara, Japan
2020 Guest Teacher for International Study Class, Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan
2019 Intern at Education Department in Scrap pdx, Portland, Oregon
2013 Instructor for Brand and Communication workshop Kitami, Hokkaido, Japan
2013 Instructor for Brand and Communication workshop Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan
2009-2013 Program Manager for Nanka Dosanko Kai’s Dosanko High School Student’ Homestay Program, Los Angeles, California
Writing and Editing :
In Japanese, writing, editing as well as planning is always something I have been passionate about. Even after becoming a professional designer in the USA, I have continued to produce many articles and zines in Japanese. On top of my writing skill, those projects have also been training my research skills.
2020 Published articles in a online Magazine “SMOUT”, Japan
2020- Published articles for a online Sustainable and Business Magazine, “ALTERNA” in Japan
2019 Self Published a Zine “Rinne.zine” Japan
2017 Produced a anniversary booklet for Hokkaido Dosanko High School Student Homestay Program, California and Hokkaido, Japan
2016 Produced a community zine “POLITICIAN”, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2015 Produced a community zine “Politician, Satoshi Arai”, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2007-2010 Art Directed and contributed for a Chinese Magazine “J-goods”, Torrance, California
1997-1998 Assistant Editor for a local magazine “Poroco”, Cosmo Media Inc., Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
1998 Self Published a zine “My Start”, Hokkaido, Japan
Translation/ Interpretation :
Language is one of the most powerful tools to learn differences, understand others, and keep getting inspired. Needless to say, language is deeply related to cultures and lifestyles.
Have you read and compared more than two translated pieces of the same story? The translation, choice of words and expressions, understanding and interpretation make differences. Translation is another artistic work, and communication is very important for the process. It is a collaboration and co-creation between the author and the translator.
I have learned from, by, and through languages. Being a hub of communication as a translator has provided me great opportunities to explore the world. Through the events listed below, I have learned about many Artists and their challenges.These experiences drastically impacted my life and have been fundamental in my life as a Socially Engaged Artist.
2018 Translator for Sapporo Yukiterrace 2018, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2017 Official Translator for Asia Winter Game, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2016 Translator for AiR Camp Asia Forum, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2016 Translator for Forum “AiR : The attraction by creative residency”, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2015 Translator for AiR Camp Asia Forum, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
2015 Translator for ESIN creative workshop, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Branding and Design :
After intense design training at Art Center College of Design, I have been worked on many creative projects as a designer for diverse clients from big corporations to individuals. Global project taught me how to design a system that could work in many different cultures and build common values to people, companies, and the society. I have a deep understanding of design as a way of solving problems and in order to solve those problems collaboration is key.
Besides designing, I have also worked as a creative director and/or a project manager for many projects. Understanding clients’ needs, their culture, and their real goals are essentials for projects' success. Coming up with core concepts and communication is very important. These roles have been training me as a better communicator and collaborator.
2018- Freelance Creative Director, Portland, Oregon
(Client : Kaika, Mitsu Yamazaki, Time4Pilates/Yumiko Abbott, Chika Shishido, RinnePDX)
2014- Alliance Creative Member at COMMUNE, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan (Client : Samsung, Kanno Honey Farm, Shinone Apple Farm)
2013- Freelance Creative Director, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan (Client : Office for Satoshi Arai, Kanno Honey Farm, Shinone Apple Farm, Date Family Farm, Ussagy, Megumi Nursery School )
2007-2013 Creative Director, Studio Verno, Torrance, California (Client: Otokoyama, Kikkoman, S&B, Panasonic, J-goods magazine, Royal Elstics, BeanCube)
2005-2007 Design Lead at Hello Design, Culver City, California
(Client : Disney, National Geographic, Yahoo, USA network, Sattchi and Sattchi )
2004 Design Intern at Brand Integration Group, Ogilvy and Mather, Culver City, California (Client : Motorola)
Social Business Challenge :
It is important to support existing organizations and projects, but it is more difficult to start a new business or a new social challenge. With other respected team members, I started a new social challenge, called Rinne, which runs an upcycle craft bar, Rinne bar in Tokyo. Rinne is a Portland-inspired, Japan-based social business, and we are aiming to open Japan’s first creative reuse center. Using our knowledge of the cultural differences between Portland and Japan, and adopting the idea of creative reuse into Japan’s most common way of communication, "Nominication" (drink-communication), we are promoting how much fun we can have with creative reuse Through this project we aim to enrich people’s creative confidence and empower the engine for a better world.
Rinne is an experimental social network focused on community building and cultural exchange. Even though Rinne was registered as a corporation in 2018, it’s not a typical company in the way that there are no specific assigned roles for members. We are comprised of seven core members, only one of whom is on payroll as an employee; the rest of us are unpaid founding members. With a different background and expectations for the projects, running the business has been a very unique, challenging, and exciting journey.
One of my own core projects within Rinne is a collaborative product development with a social welfare facility, Tomos Company in Tochigi Japan. Tomos produces beautiful Sashiko (Japan’s traditional hand stitching technique) products, created by people who cannot work at regular full time positions because of their health conditions. All of their products are beautifully hand crafted with care and love. Now with our collaboration, their new upcycled product line has more story to tell, and their products are here in Portland. I am excited for them to be connected with an even bigger world and possibilities. Through collaboration, I am also learning how happily and inclusively the stitchers, and their supporters, are working. This is a big experimental process that I am very excited and hopeful for.
2021 Pop-up shop Rinne.pdx at “Art Picnic Portland” and “Zero”, Portland, Oregon
2021 Developed collaborative Sashiko and upcycled products with Social Welfare facility “Tomos Company”, Tochigi, Japan and Portland, Oregon
2020 Produced RinnePDX camp with International Special Program Office of International Affairs, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon (Canceled due to COVID-19)
2020- Launched Rinne.pdx as a hub for cultural exchange and social challenge, Portland, Oregon
2020 Opened Creative Reuse Bar, Rinne.bar, Tokyo, Japa
2019-2020 Interned at SCRAP PDX for learning about Creative Reuse Center, Portland, Oregon
2019 Raised 1,653,000yen ($14,297.21) through fundraising website for opening a Creative Reuse Bar, Tokyo, Japan
2019 Creative Reuse Pop-up Workshop at an event called “Lean by Creation”, Tokyo, Japan
2019 Sustainable camp with 9 original members from Tokyo, Portland, Oregon
2018 Researched for secrets of sustainable city of Portland, Portland, Oregon