Until I chose Maiko as the subject of my portraits, my portraits were mainly of ordinary women. At that time, I was not fully convinced of the purpose of painting the subject, and I think that I was still searching for it as I created the work.

Although this overlaps with the artist’s comment in work No. 1, in 2009 I had the opportunity to see a maiko dance while dining at a long-established ryotei (Japanese-style restaurant) in Yamagata City. It was 15 years after the revival of the maiko dance in Yamagata City.

At that time, seeing the dancers up close, I had a gut feeling that this was the subject of the portraits I was looking for!

I saw the harmony of the gorgeous kimono, the shape of Japanese hair and Kanzashi (ornamental hairpins), the graceful dance, the Japanese-style room, the sliding doors, the Japanese music….

They were also a collection of traditional Japanese culture that we can be proud of to the world. I immediately got in touch with Mrs. N, who oversees the maikos, and she began to allow me to paint them as personal models. Since then, most of my large works have centered on maiko .