“A dream come true”
I was born in Japan, but from a young age knew that the United States would hold my future in its hands.
My journey began while training with a world class hair stylist near Tokyo–master Kiyoshi Ishiwatari. He was revered for his exceptional skills and technique, and his students came from various prefectures around the country to undergo his rigorous training in the art of hair styling. Although his students would go on to open salons in Japan, my heart was set on making my mark in the United States.
I began working at the hair salon in the prestigious Imperial Hotel in Tokyo knowing that working at an international hotel would provide me with the right networking opportunities to achieve my goal. In 1970, destiny knocked on my door. At the Imperial Hotel I met Mr. Evan Khan and his wife, an American couple who owned various salons in Miami, Florida. Mr. Kahn manufactured hair scissors in Sweden and hair brushes in Hong Kong. After witnessing my craft, he offered me an opportunity to display his tools in action in the United States. I decided to move to Miami to pursue this exciting opportunity.
My transition to the United States was an exciting change for me. I had to learn a new language and customs, and adapt to Miami’s climate and its foreign food. I began demonstrating my hair cutting methods at beauty school in Hialeah. Shortly thereafter, I made a mini documentary movie called “The 10 Minute Precision Hair Cut” that received glowing reviews from beauty suppliers around the U.S. I formed a hair cutting team with two of the finest male hairstylist who trained under me to participate in hair shows around the country. We traveled all over the U.S. sharing the documentary and my hair cutting techniques. At one of our shows in Manhattan, I recognized a familiar face in the audience. It was my master from Japan–Kiyoshi Ishiwatari. It was a rare and moving moment to bring him on the stage to recognize him and his contribution to my art.
In 1977, I opened Machiko Salon in downtown Miami. Over the years, the salon has moved to various neighborhoods throughout the city–from South Miami, to Coral Gables, to Coconut Grove, and now back to its current location in beautiful Coral Gables. Over the years, Machiko Salon has been the subject of various write-ups in the Miami Herald, and has upheld an excellent reputation for the quality of consistent services that I and my talented team of stylists have delivered for nearly four decades. And the journey continues.
In my craft, my creative energy source is you–the shape of your head, the structure of your facial features, and the character of your hair tell me where to begin. Balancing these natural geometries with my background in art and sculpture allows me to deliver individualized results that bring out the best in you. It is my passion to share my art with my clients.