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My mom - my very first ballet teacher

My mom was a hard critic when it came to my dancing especially the performances. She gave up on her dream to be a professional dancer and there wasn’t much chance anyway back then in Japan of having a real job as a dancer.

I think my mom could have easily become a professional dancer as she’s got a mad wild dancing heart and an artistic sensibility and passion. But I think she wanted to be a classic good girl in a small town so she chose not to go crazy. She got married and had me and all her energy was put in to raising me and my brother.

She was my first ballet teacher at home using a dresser as a barre in our small living room.

And she passed on to me her dream.

I feel privileged to have had many elite cultural experiences (attending world class teachers' dance workshops, private lessons in Tokyo, seeing a lot of dance performances, operas, music concerts and going to art exhibitions etc..) Since I was 1 or 2 when I began to have clear thoughts there was no single doubt that I would be anything else but a dancer. I am kind of impressed with myself how I grew up that way and I am here because of all this but now I think 'wow that was a little too much!' So obsessed.

My Mom used to say “If you want to make a living as a dancer, you have to get out of Japan” So I did and that was what she wanted too but I know that both my parents missed me. For over 25 years - my entire professional career - she has almost never missed one of my premiere shows. She would fly in all the way from Japan to wherever I was. She came and would always come. Mom you did so well for me! You wholeheartedly supported what I did. I am a happy girl and you gave me space to go wild but also I carried on your classic good girl part.

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