Hello, I am Hiromi. Welcome to Kobo H.
Born in Shizuoka, Japan. It lies about halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya. Shizu, meaning “still” or “calm”, oka, meaning “hill(s)”. It is famous for Mt. Fuji and green tea. Except the subtropical hot humid summer, a pretty mild climate area, which creates the famous easy going Shizuoka temperament – Go with the flow.
I was a kid who loved making things with yarns, fabrics and threads. I’d be rather reading books at home or visiting my neighbor who taught me how to hand-sew than playing outside with other kids. I was a very introvert kid. A basic rule for kids after school was to go out, go play. To me, being a regular kid was simply tough.
I wanted to go to an art school in Tokyo after my high school. All adults I knew told me that it wouldn’t be a good idea, wouldn’t pay my future bills after I graduated so I had to think a bit. I went to a junior college, learned English instead.
Much later, around 1996, one thought from my college years started coming up to the surface – going to US and being a student for a year or two. When I was attending my college in Japan, $1.00 was about ¥360.00. Unless your parents are pretty wealthy or you are extremely smart, there would be no chance to become a student in US. My father was a public school teacher, my mother was a homestay mom and my grade was always somewhere in the middle. I can’t remember how this almost forgotten thought came back to me but it just didn’t go away. It stayed in my head quietly. Then I started thinking how I could make it happen. First, I checked my bank accounts and figured attending a community college for 2 years would be doable. YES!
I started looking for a school, preparing for TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), my student visa and much more. I moved to Bellevue, Washington in 1999 to attend Bellevue Community College, now Bellevue College to learn about Web design.
One of my big surprises after I moved to US was that meeting many people who admired and appreciated Japanese art and culture more than any Japanese I knew including me. I opened my laptop to see what I had been missing. It was beautiful. Things made by hands and carried across generations. The colors, the techniques, the culture and the tradition. Wow…! And here I am, still love making things by my hands. Probably even more.
More than 20 years later, I now live in Snoqualmie Valley – a small community in Pacific Northwest, 25 miles east of Seattle, Washington.
I designed my first website, koboh.com in 2008. It has had lots of changes and pauses. Now, my hope is to share a sense of connection with people, as a creative community, with many happy faces.
Thanks for being here with me, very much appreciate it.
All the best,