A native Japanese woman, growing up in Nagoya and Tokyo regions, Chiho began playing the piano at age five, and fell in love with classical music. As a young adult, she began to study Japanese culture, such as the proper way to wear Kimonos, Japanese calligraphy, the Japanese instrument "Koto", and Japanese flower arrangement "Ikebana”, as well as traditional Kimonos - handmade of kimono silk, with amazing colors, hand embroidery, hand dying, and hand weaving. She has learned to appreciate the cultural and historical meanings of the kimono art through their symbolic themes, how each kimono is unique, and the meanings of the art displayed on the fabric.
In Chiho’s own words:
I earned a Bachelors degree at Musashino Ongaku University. I then chose to continue my education, earning Masters degrees, two Post-Masters degrees, a Performers Certificate, and an Artist Diploma at the State University of New York at Purchase.
The Kimono is very interesting. Each Kimono has a history, a meaning, and is considered a piece of art. I carefully select vintage kimonos I want to use in my art and learn as much as I can about them. I believe that I give the Kimono a new life, by combining colors, fabrics, and patterns to make something new, with a modern style.
To properly dress in a Kimono and style one's hair takes well over an hour. The beautiful thing about my repurposed Kimono art style is that people can wear Kimono at any time and anywhere … I love that my art uses pieces of Japan's culture, history, and beauty to come alive again in our day to day lives. All pieces are carefully handmade by me, and each piece is a one of a kind.
I currently live in Tokyo as an artist and also a piano teacher. After completing my education in New York, I decided that I also wanted to bring music to children, and hope to plant in them a love and appreciation for music.
Lucky customers that take home one of Chiho’s pieces will also receive an explanation of the type of Kimonos used in their specific piece and its cultural or symbolic meanings.