On April 23rd, 1995, I moved to the United States from Japan. I started as an international student in Los Angeles, so it was not an official "migration" from the immigration office's view, but I was determined to stick around.
Coincidentally, that was the same day the Japanese baseball player Mr. Nomo came to the Major League, as the first Japanese baseball player. Of course he got the whole package of the legal states, personal translator, a great opportunity and everything I didn't have, but it was exciting all the same (and I was not under any performance pressure). I thought I will do my best as much as he does, felt like we are on the same boat.
It has been a great adventure, for the last 19 years. I used to think I did so well, but now I look back, I was more lucky than anything else, lucky to meet so many wonderful people who generously helped me. Los Angeles, Oklahoma, Maine, West Palm Beach, Pennsylvania, Minneapolis, there are always people who gave me a chance to take, a hand to hold, and a home to stay. Especially the fellow potters and ceramic artists everywhere, without their communities, I wouldn't be here today. My first ceramic classes at Glendale Community College and the people there are still one of the warmest memory to me, how they welcomed a foreign student who couldn't even understand what they were saying.
And you too, thank you so much for your support. So grateful that you are interested in my work and taking your time reading this. Thank you for reminding me that we are all connected and sharing the time, thank you for reminding me that the life is still a great adventure. One more year to my unofficial twenty years anniversary, and it's still a long way to go.