Akari was born and raised in Osaka until her family returned to their rural mountain village when she was in elementary school. A town of 800 and home to Benzaiten, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the Indian goddess of music Saraswati, Tenkawa is an incredibly sacred place. Her father works as a calligrapher at a mountain-top temple and her mother’s family runs a small shop selling uniforms for monks and others on spiritual pilgrimage.
After attending college and developing her craft in San Francisco for the past dozen years, Akari recently returned to Japan. Sourcing quality materials from across the country and making all pieces by hand start-to-finish, she's influenced by the traditional garments of her family’s village—finding inspiration in time-honored attire through its simple style, interesting shapes and durability.