About Ema

Artist - Painter - Art Historian

As a Japanese-American artist, I share my perspective of stories and experiences through painting what cannot be fully described in writing.

These paintings are freehand without under-drawings; the ink strokes on the delicate paper are final. I use these permanent and imperfect marks as the most direct expression of my present perspective and past experience. By providing the context to enter and leaving enough space to rest, I extend an invitation to the viewers to find a place in the stories.

The small etegami (“picture letter”) pieces are exercises to capture one dimension of an experience using ink, watercolor, and calligraphy.  I extend this practice to my primary body of work—larger pieces centered in a specific historical context. They are an invitation to enter a period of Japanese history when many lived between two cultures, never fully belonging to either.


Japanese folk art, woodblock prints, textile patterns, church history, Age of Exploration, travel


M.A. Japanese Art History, San Francisco State University

B.F.A. Painting and Drawing, Biola University