I discovered that oil painting is fun.
— You are an illustrator and painter, so tell us the story of how you started your career in the art world.
I went to a public school in Osaka that had an art department, and in the first grade I studied drawing and the basics, majoring in oil painting. In my first year of high school, I tried oil paints for the first time and found it very interesting to realize that I could dilute paints with oil, which was something I had never felt before. After graduation, I entered the oil painting course at the Osaka University of Arts. My teacher at the university introduced me to a painter named Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and I was attracted to his style.
— How was entering Osaka University of Arts? Did it further expand your world?
That is, I was more worried about my negative attitude toward my own personality than about painting. It seems childish looking back, but when I first entered the university, all I did was compare myself with the students around me, and I suffered from self-loathing. Why am I still moping around? There must be a different way of living, a different way of thinking, but what is it? Just as I was searching for answers, I received a letter from an alumnus of a children’s outdoor activity program I had participated in as a child, asking if I would be interested in becoming a volunteer leader for a camp to be held in July.