Osaka glass jewelry artist
Web design instructor
Japanese language teacher (Nepal)
Ceramic studio owner artist (Florida, USA)
Studio WAZA, glass studio artist (Osaka)
Tokushima Prefecture Regional Revitalization Project (Conservation and Utilization of Heritage sites)
English interpreter for live entertainment production
Major awards and publications:
Islands Fest Art Show Grand Prize (Florida, 2008)
2 art works selected for 500 tiles in the world.
(Lark Ceramic Books, "500 tiles" 2007)
Featured as a traditional glass beads artist in Osaka. (Fashion magazine Kuru-kuru 2017)
■From Japan to overseas■
I was born and raised in Osaka. After graduating from school and working as an computer instructor for several years, I left Japan because of my yearning to go abroad. As a Japanese language teacher, I was able to work in Nepal.
Kathmandu was my first place to live in abroad, and looking back, it was quite a challenging place as a first migration destination.
I am still impressed by the beauty of religious architectures and the abundance of handcrafts throughout the country. Putting myself in this environment surely enhanced my interest in art.
■Recognizing the depth of Japanese culture in overseas■
After Nepal, I moved to Florida, USA. The initial purpose was to further improve English language skill. I entered a state university for intense classes. In the meantime, I had an unexpected encounter.
I met an American potter who was strongly influenced by Japanese pottery, and started working together. I was very interested in art to start with, so I was absorbed in creating. After that, I decided to launch a pottery brand. I spent 7 years in Florida and had frequently participated in art shows and held solo exhibitions.
I have won first prizes at a large-scale art show, and my works have been published in magazines and books.
■ Lived in Iya, one of Japan's top 3 unexplored regions ■
After living abroad for a long time, I began to miss my country. While studying Japanese ceramics in the United States, I developed a curiosity to learn more about my own country. I also wanted to spend more time with my aging parents.
After returning to Japan, I met some interesting Americans. One of them is Alex Kerr, an oriental culture researcher. He is a cultural figure representing Kyoto who won the Shincho Gakugei Award.
Alex is famous as a leading person in the restoration of old Japanese houses. I have decided to participate in his project to preserve and restore Japanese cultural heritage.
Among many areas, I focused on preserving an old thatched-roof house in the mountains of Higashi-Iya, Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture.
To actually live in an old thatched house was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned a lot about traditional Japanese thatched roof building methods and agriculture in mountainous areas. The mountains shrouded in mist, the sky full of stars, the beautiful mountain streams, I will never forget these moments.
■ Took a peek at the entertainment world ■
When I came back to Osaka after finishing my work in Tokushima, I was greeted with an unexpected offer: "Would you be interested in performing in a show at a theme park?"
The role was something like a stunt performer. Of course, there was an audition, but I was in a gymnastic team when I was a student, so I was able to get the role.
Through that connection, I was then scouted to work as an English interpreter in the entertainment industry. There was a lot of technical terminology, and it was difficult when I started. I have had the rare experience of working as an interpreter for singers, dancers, actors, directors, music producers, choreographers, and others who deserve my respect.
The interpreting job in the entertainment field gives me great inspiration.
■ Narrowing down my medium to glass■
From the time I was making a living doing pottery in the United States, everytime when I went back to Japan temporarily, I made glass and gemstone jewelry. I believe that I first started making glass beads in 2006.
From the time I started, my goal was to sell the beads I made. Sat in front of the flame and melted glass over and over. I had decided that when I returned to Japan someday, I would switch my medium from clay to glass.
Of course, it took me several years to convince myself that my glass works have the quality to become bead jewelry. Therefore, in the first few years, I also made jewelry using gemstones.
Currently, I mainly sell original glass jewelry, but I would like to design gemstone jewelry in the future again.
■Interested in metalworking and photography■
Looking back on my past, I realized that I like creative activities that deal with high temperatures. In addition to pottery and glass art, I was also interested in melting metal, and learnt skills such as metal welding and gas handling.
I have been interested in computers since I was a student, and I have a national certification as a system engineer. Website design and photography are also my hobbies. I have the experience of holding a solo exhibition in Florida that mainly focuses on photography.
On my blog, I post photos of places I recommend all over Japan, as well as photos of my glass jewelry. I would be happy if you take a look!
I operate two websites and multiple online shops under the STUDIO Waza brand name.
hotaruglass.com(Silver leaf glass beads and Okinawa Travel Blog)
osakajewelry.com (You are currently viewing this site. )
I will deliver the special feeling of having jewelry which you can tell who the artist is and how much passion has been put into the glass.
I truly believe that traditional Japanese jewelry will bring out your beauty and personality even more.
■Art and culture event organizer■
I have experienced many art shows in the US and Japan, and I use this knowledge to plan events which are not directly related to my art.
Thai traditional dance and antique art auction
@Yada Tenmangu with Alex Kerr.