My name is Hajime Helen G. Ando and I came to Los Angeles, California from Tokyo, Japan in 1986 looking for an opportunity to study and while I was living in the USA, I found the Découpage Guild back in 1995.
My Guild started with Ms. Marion, it would have been nothing without her! I am so grateful to have worked with her and I still do. Without Ms. Marion there would not be a Tokyo Chapter.
When Midori Nagata, who is now the President of the Tokyo Chapter in Japan, sent a letter to the Découpage Guild in 1997 asking how she could communicate with members of the Guild in the USA, I contacted Midori right away and we started the cooperation with Japan.
Since I did not know that there were active members in Japan at that time, I had so much joy in helping them to establish the Tokyo, Japanese Chapter. At the same time, I contacted older guild members in Japan who had been members for years, ever since the Guild was founded. I was learning to have a good relationship with people outside of the USA.
Ms. Midori Nagata had about eight students at the time and she became the president of the Tokyo Chapter. Then both she, along with her staff all became members of the Guild. Today the number has grown to twenty three members!
In the years since 2002, the Tokyo Chapter holds regular exhibitions and workshops.
Ms. MJ Toole, Ms. Lois Jenkins, Ms. Billie Burandt and many others have been a great help with their How-To Videos and sample works. I have been a very happy messenger, sending to Tokyo all the materials that they needed. I have been translating The Dialogue and corresponding between Japan and the USA ever since.
I also had the opportunity to translate their découpage book from Japanese to English, they published a couple of great books about traditional decoupage, as some of you may already know.
Midori is doing very well and this year the Tokyo Chapter held their Exhibition of Découpage works in Tokyo Japan in March.