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I left Japan in my early 20's, first moving to Nepal as a Japanese-language teacher. I was so fascinated and inspired by their mingled culture. Old or new, religious or not, it didn't matter to me. The country was filled with handmade crafts from across the Himalayas. These surroundings must have helped me start developing my artistic sense.

Shortly after, I moved to Tampa, Florida where I learned ceramics from Wesley Allen. His ceramics caught my eye because I didn't expect to see such traditional Japanese-style arts in Tampa. I really liked the process of making ceramics and finding a sense of beauty in them. Wesley is talented artist and my detailed workmanship complimented his creativity well.
Staying away from my own culture helped me to recognize what is "Japanese style". The core concept is DETAIL with SIMPLICITY and HARMONY. When people tell me my creations look somewhat Japanese I take it as a compliment, but I have never intended to make my work "Japanese". It's just my background flowing out from my hands.

As I started spending more time in Japan, away from my kiln, I had to find something new to satisfy my hands. I enjoyed photography, but it didn't fulfill my desire to create something physically. Luckily, it didn't take me long to find a new outlet.
Making glass beads has a lot of similarities with making ceramics.
They both have infinite design possibilities. On the other hand, the process is quite different. Glass beads can be made in a smaller space and the processing time is much shorter, a fact I really like. Plus I enjoy the added element of designing jewelry.

Not long ago I met Alex and Paul, two other Americans who are very influenced by Japanese culture. I joined their rural revitalization project in Tokushima (an area known for ceramics). Then I moved to a remote misty mountain with a fantastic river and worked for the preservation of local culture; specifically old farmhouses and thatch fields.

I have since finished my work there and left the mountains, but I'm sure I'll be back. My life seems to seesaw between the mountains and the sea. Earth and water. Ceramics and glass.





National Geographic Traveler Jan-Feb 2012 Takashi, Paul and a tourist.

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