As a teenager in Japan, Kiminori Koyanagi had dreams of visiting the U.S.
As a teenager in Japan, Kiminori Koyanagi had dreams of visiting the U.S. After graduating from high school, she spent nine months working hard to save a little nest egg, then travelled to Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Illinois, Georgia, and Florida. Koyanagi ended up in San Francisco, where she enrolled in school to learn English. It was there that fate stepped in. One of the students was a woman from Japan who came to California to get her manicurist’s license so she could open up her own nail salon in Japan. She told Koyanagi that nails were becoming fashionable in Japan and that she would employ her if she became licensed. Today, Koyanagi is a flourishing nail artist at Nail Salon Tomoko in Kobe, Japan.
“Re-creating samples of someone else’s nail art is important if you want to be a good nail artist because it inspires you to come up with your own original designs,” says Koyanagi, who also teaches nail art.
Koyanagi charges $18 per nail, and says that the most common nail art you’ll see in Japan is airbrushed designs and rhinestones because the nail artists don’t realize that handpainted nail art products are less expensive. Her motto: “You can make high-quality designs at a low cost.”