Where did you grow up?
Outside of Tokyo, but I always went to Tokyo to hang out with my buddies!
What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?
When I was 5 or 6, I remember that I drew a guy whose face is TV and is running or something. I don't know why I drew it, but I remember very strongly.
What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?
When I was in junior high school, my best friend and I had a boy who we liked, and we decided to make a story about him in manga. That's how I started enjoying making comics! Oh- he didn't like both of us! So totally heartbreak!
Do you use your childhood as inspiration?
Yes! All of the time!
What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?
When I was a kid, I was into "Yukan Club!" It's super-fun romantic-comedy! Adult titles are Blankets, Bambino, Black Hole.
What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?
Totally dance with Michael Jackson's music! I love going to see the band Man Man. And I used to make Japanese hip-hop too.
Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?
Craig Thompson, who has an amazing drawing style. Sekiya Tetsuji, I really respect Japanese artists. He can draw each panel very unique and dynamic! Daniel Clows, His books were the first American graphic novels I read! His storytelling is just great.
What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?
Challenge yourself and keep struggling!!