We are so pleased to meet our international guest contributor to CTJ. She is globally renowned for her unique approach and love of traditional barbering techniques. Please meet
I hope I’m not jumping to conclusion, and keen not to start any race riots, but I’m guessing from your name you are Japanese? Does Yuki or Kano have any greater meaning?
Thank you so much for asking. Yes, I am Japanese, and I love my name. In Japanese, there are several ways to write the same word.
Yuki sounds the same as snow, which is one Japanese character.
My parents chose to write it with two Japanese characters meaning loyal and beautiful heart.
What made you choose to become a barber?
My journey actually started with hairdressing. I quickly realized that I love cutting short hair (including bobs) and men’s hair. I felt that I really needed to add traditional barbering skills to take me to the next level in my work and as an educator.
You now live in Australia full time? Knowing how much you love your own country and culture, what made you make the jump?
When I was a kid, my family travelled a lot, and this made me feel that I really wanted to live abroad and experience a different culture. I have found Australians to be very down to earth and I really love the mix of cultures. I found it is easy to be myself here.
Knowing you Have had 12 years experience as a hairdresser for TONI&GUY and now 6 years in the Barber Industry, Do you prefer cutting Men’s or Women’s hair?
I always loved cutting short hair. I met Kevin Luchman when he came to Sydney and that was my first experience with barbering techniques, and I knew I wanted to perfect them. Whether it’s for men or women, it’s these techniques I love working with.
If you could choose to cut anyone’s hair in the world, who would you choose?
Pharrell Williams because I love his style, Ruby Rose because she is so iconic. I also love art and find it really inspiring so it would have been amazing to cut Jean-Michel Basquiat’s hair while he was alive. I wish I could have a conversation with him!
You have travelled a great deal for your work! Europe and the US to mention a couple of places.. How has this influenced your artistry?
When I’m traveling, I find the connections I make with people often lead to other opportunities and have really opened up a lot of experiences for me. For example, when I went to Japan in early 2019, I met Masa Kawakami at a barbering competition I was in, and he was judging. He invited me to work with him.
Through Kawakami I was invited to go to London for a summit. Because I was in London, I was able to present both at Salon International in London and MCB by Beauty Selection in Paris. Experiences like these keep me energized and inspired by this industry.
What culture has most influenced your work?
UK culture, street style and hairstyle.
If you were to spend 5 years in another culture, what country would you choose?
Definitely London, UK.
I would love to live and work there. I spent three months there last year, but I would love to extend longer. The barbering industry is so strong over there, so it would be a good opportunity for me to expand my skill even further. London’s art & street scene is just exciting.
I have heard you say you don’t identify barbering with gender boundaries. Please elaborate?
In society, generally gender boundaries are problematic for me and I personally don’t relate to the concept. For me, it is about creating something this person loves to wear. I believe the same can be said about the person who is holding the clippers and scissors. If you love what you are doing, it doesn’t matter if you’re female or male.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years?
I have just started my YouTube Channel so I would like to grow that and create more cool and fun educational content.
My dream as a teenager was to be a photographer so I would love to get better at photography, videoing and editing my own work. Then I would love to have my own studio where I could focus on my creative work.
I love the hair industry for all the creative opportunity and personal connections it has given me, and I hope you enjoy the industry as much as I do.