was born and grew up in Japan, where he had occasional contact with both traditional Japanese and western arts.  He came to the United States at the age of 18 to pursue a university education, where exposure to a wide array of films, theater, music and the visual arts started to give a shape to his general curiosity about art.  Throughout his long career as a student, this interest continued. Many evenings were spent going to theater and musical performances, and much time was spent in museums. In addition, he took numerous university courses in theater, art history, film and music.  Upon completion of his doctorate twelve years ago, he settled in Chicago, where the passion for art has turned into a means for exploring humanity.  He spends most of his spare time in theaters, and by day he works as the director of the testing program at Northeastern University.