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AkaTako had it's begining back in 2001 and started with the purchase of Trevor Brown's "Forbidden Fruit" book. Trevor used to sell directly to the public via his blog and when I realized there was nowhere outside of Japan to buy his work I started to buy additional copies to sell on eBay.
I avidly followed his blog and posts about other Japanese artists. My AOL dial-up connection got a lot of work as I tried to hunt down more information on the artists he would post about. I was fascinated with Toshio Saeki and eventually found a gallery in Tokyo that sold some of his books. I sent them an email in English and received a reply about a month later. I purchased a few items from them - kept a few for myself and sold some on eBay.
After several years of occasional selling via eBay, I decided to take a very long trip to Japan. However, after coming up with a long list of places to visit I decided to see if I could find a job. After a few months of looking and applying I was offered a job as a conversational ESL teacher and moved to a small town outside of Nagoya in 2006.
I lived in Japan for just over one year and traveled to many different cities. I had the privilege of meeting Trevor Brown (and his wife Hippie Coco) at his "Rubber Doll" exhibition in Tokyo. I also went to the gallery where I purchased my first Toshio Saeki book and met the owner in person for the first time. It was a great experience.
After returning to the U.S., I built my very first version of AkaTako.net - an HTML website with a lot of tables and very few items to buy. I continued to grow AkaTako as a part time hobby in addition to "normal" full time jobs for a couple more years. In 2011, I took a leap and devoted my time to AkaTako full time.
I continue to try to find new and interesting Japanese artists and to provide the best customer service possible. I am an online consumer too so I want to give you the same experience I desire from start to finish.