Modified from the article at Kids Book Review with Kate DiCamilo.
1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I have the hardest time answering questions and making decisions. But most people can figure that out pretty quickly.
2. What is your nickname?
Gura. Because my full name in Japanese in a nightmare to pronounce. It sounds like a Russian bear with a cough.
3. What is your greatest fear?
My children would be kidnapped, or a live radio interview, or doing taxes.
4. Describe your illustration style in 5 words.
Whimsical. Lavish. Overworked. Delightful. Emersive.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as an artist.
That's the most difficult question I've ever been asked. How about, Intuitive. Intense. Devoted. Passionate. And I struggle to finish anything I...
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Despereaux. I often feel small and sickly, but I too have heard the call from the great stories — to be honorable and valiant in the face of trials and fears.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I like the here and now, but if I could visit the Garden of Eden at the dawn of creation, perhaps I would revel in a few hours to run amuck naked and free in perfect beauty.
8. What would your 10-year-old self say to you now?
He wouldn't know what to say. Maybe he'd ask me, "You still struggle with that?" And I'd laugh and say, "Yep."
9. Who is your greatest influence?
Art wise. Richard Scarry, perhaps. He made learning to read a delight. His volumes of work still inspire me today.
10. What/who made you start drawing?
I've always had to create. From the moment I held a pencil. It's part of who I am. At the end of high school, I remember thinking there's nothing I'd rather do.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Perhaps. Because it helps me when I am unsure, perhaps.
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It'd have to be the Bible — since it is too expansive to ever exhaust. —Or Go Dogs. Go!