My mother has been painting oil paintings ever since I can remember. Simply painting on canvas was not enough for her; she graced our living room walls and the sliding doors of our bedrooms with her depictions of nature. Perhaps because I was raised in such an environment, I took up oil painting at the age of 18.

Eight years ago I moved out of my parents’ home and came to Kyoto with a firm resolve to find out what I was capable of on my own. I wanted to make a new start. Even though I moved from Komatsu to Kyoto, I did not manage to sell my paintings, and led quite a miserable life.

During my second year in Kyoto, in a period of searching for my own colors and subject matter, I came across moso bamboo. “This is it!” I thought. Even though I had never been particularly impressed by bamboo forests, at that time my feelings and the aspect of the bamboo were in perfect harmony; the bamboo seized my spirit and wouldn’t let go.

The thick, strong moso bamboo of a lush green grows straight up to the sky.
In contrast, its dense roots run riot, forming a tangles mass from which they have enough force to break through concrete. I was deeply struck by that weed-like vitality. It seemed to me that bamboo expressed both the appearance and the interior state of human beings. I decided to devote my life to investigating the extent to which expression can derive from the representation of bamboo as human beings.

It was on that day that my craze for bamboo began. I sought and painted the spirit of bamboo, the voice of bamboo, its smell, color and balance, and constantly enjoyed physical contact and conversation with it. In due course I was awarded the prize of the Chunichi Women’s Art Exhibition four years in a row. I was also accepted to and won prizes at exhibitions both in Japan and abroad, and held regular yearly solo exhibitions. During this time I gradually began to receive more orders for my bamboo paintings. In my case, since I sold my paintings to make a living, each time I received an order I did my best to paint a bamboo painting that would please my client.

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