top of page



Since Yoko Mill was very young, she has been thinking.

"Why was I born?"

"Am I allowed to live?"

Yoko Mill felt that if she did not have a reason or value for existing, she would not be allowed to exist.


As a young child, Yoko Mill searched for where she belonged in this world (her surroundings, in her young worldview) and fantasized, "What is this world like in the first place?"

It was similar to the process by which ancient Greek philosophers developed theories to explain cosmic and natural illusions, and the origins of constellations and things were imagined and told as myths and folk tales.


This is how Yoko Mill’s spiritual journey began. As she grew up, she acquired scientific knowledge in school, which did not hinder her fantasies, but rather fed them. Her imagination was further nurtured by her love of reading fantastic stories, such as fairy tales, science fiction, and tales of adventure into other worlds. When she returned home from school, she would draw imaginary pictures. She would read books and manga, watch animations, and draw pictures of them. That was her daily routine.


No matter how much Yoko Mill explored in science, she could never get an answer to the question, "What is the world like?" As soon as a human scientific theory reaches the mystery before us, a new mystery is created. The universe seemed to expand faster and farther than our ability to think.


Yoko Mill thought that it would be philosophy, not science, that would understand this world at once, and she majored in philosophy in college and graduate school. But studying the philosophy of her predecessors was not enough for her.


Yoko Mill had been painting and drawing naturally. For her, they were more familiar and habitual than learning or schooling. Her self-taught illustrations caught the eye of a publisher and she started as an illustrator. She enjoyed the process of illustrating stories and covers, as it was very close to her childhood habit.


Eventually, Yoko Mill became eager to express her own inspiration more directly in her drawings, instead of using other people's stories as the core for her own imaginative work. Various images float like clouds in her inner world. When inspiration strikes, like a bolt of lightning, the clouds move like a storm, taking shape, coagulating, and settling. It takes enormous energy to capture them and bring them to the surface in the external world. It feels like life is on fire. she began to show her paintings in solo and group exhibitions, not for work, but for freedom.


Yoko Mill paint imaginary worlds and place the girls in them, giving them roles. The girls are not simply "kawaii girls" posing as in the portraits, but are performing some action.


To move the world in the painting, that is the reason for the girls' existence. She gives the girls the "sense that it is okay to be her" that she has wanted since she was a child.


Growing up surrounded by Japanese manga and animation, it was natural for her to be influenced by them. Yoko Mill use oil paintings to create realistic representations of girls who look like characters from manga and animation. Her work will be accessible to children. she believes that you can see the harmony of East and West in the mysterious realism of "kawaii" girls.



As her roots, Yoko Mill also value the ancient Japanese culture.

The girls' hair is often white. This is inspired by the Japanese Noh play. In Noh, white wigs are used for gods, demons, and other characters who have become more than human after many years of existence. And Yoko Mill sometimes give the girls colored hair other than white  such as bright red or pink, as in the case of animated characters.


Yoko Mill sometimes place girls in traditional paintings.


ln particular, Ukiyo-e's bold compositions, flat compositional colors, and drastic poses of figures shocked the world art world as Japonism.


Ukiyo-e is an illustration of the Edo period, and literature, plays, and advertising activities spread behind it. By "honka-tori" (capturing the true meaning of the poem), what would be considered inappropriate expressions today can be leapfrogged into a deeper sense of the world as compositions and poses that are unexpected in a good sense of the word.


The girls depicted in this way speak for her and ask you the questions Yoko Mill has been asking herself.

"Who are you?"

"What is your place in the universe?

"Where are you located and what is your function in this cosmic mechanism?"


When you are asked these questions, are you moved? Do you have to face yourself instead of just living?

Or would you not even look at it?


Without the questions and answers, human beings can live.

Just the fact that one is alive may be the value of one's existence, even if one has no role to play.

It is with this thought or wish that Yoko Mill sometimes paints only girls or only faces.



Yoko Mill’s spiritual journey continues.

She hopes to share with you in a positive way the question of asking and not asking this question through art, transcending borders, cultures, generations, and eras.


What good will such a thing do? Can I help someone? That is the kind of painter she wants to be.

bottom of page