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Maki is a multifaceted artist and producer with a passion for Japan, her native land. She grew-up in Sendai, in the north of Japan, and from her earliest years was immersed in the traditions of Japanese arts and culture. Her parents ran a kimono-making school and she remembers a childhood with hundreds of “aunties” –- the students who were living with them during their five-year apprenticeships, to become licensed. It was only natural that Maki also studied many of the other time-honored Japanese expressive arts, including ikebana (floral design), shodo (calligraphy), and the koto (traditional stringed musical instrument).
After high-school, Maki came to the United States to continue her education, and graduated with a degree in Art History from San Francisco State University. She then applied her ikebana training to establish Viola Floral Design, based in Sonoma, where she provided exquisite floral arrangements for weddings and winery events throughout the Bay Area for more than 15 years.
The devastation of the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 to Maki's homeland was a pivotal moment for her. Ever since, she has been committed to fostering collaborations and orchestrating projects, mainly with Japanese artists, to build community locally and globally, that uses the arts to bring people together. In addition, with her admiration and appreciation of the history of Japanese traditions and skills, Maki approaches each art form to be preserved and sustained.