Sunny Seki

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Sunny Seki (born 1947) is a Japanese American professional author and photographer based in Los Angeles, California. He was raised in Tokyo, Japan, before moving to the United States at age 24. He received his Bachelor's degree in Photography from the Tokyo University of the Arts and also attended Kuwasawa Academy of Design, and Pasadena's Art Center College of Design. He holds a Black Belt in the Japanese Martial Art of Aikido.[1]

Seki is a teacher and writer of Japanese poetry called Senryu, and his poems are often featured in the Japanese newspaper called The Rafu Shimpo.[2] From 1979 to 2006 he owned his own photography studio in Rosemead, California. Called "Sunny Seki Photography," it specialized in portraits, weddings, and restoring old photographs. Seki is a member of the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry, and he retells Japanese folktales in the form of shadow puppetry.[3] His shadow puppetry has been featured on the Disney Channel show called "What a Life!"[4]

Seki is also an author and illustrator of children's books, with a focus on Japanese Folktales. In 2007 his first book, The Tale of the Lucky Cat, was published by East West Discovery Press. This book received two distinct awards: The "NAPPA Honors" National Parenting Publications Honor Award Award in 2007,[5] and in 2009 the Creative Child Magazine "Preferred Choice" Award. This book is published in 8 bilingual editions: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hmong, Tagalog, Spanish and Vietnamese.[6] In 2010, his second book, The Last Kappa of Old Japan, A Magical Journey of Two Friends was published by Tuttle Publishing.[7] Seki's third book, Yuko-Chan and the Daruma Doll" was released in February 2012, and it is a story about The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village. This book is bilingual, and is printed with both Japanese and English text.

Seki's book Yuko-chan and the Daruma Doll has been the recipient of two major awards. The first is the "2012 Book of the Year" award for storybooks on learning foreign cultures, sponsored by Creative Child Magazine,[8] a national bi-monthly publication that provides parents with the latest information on how to nurture their children’s creativity. The second honor came from PaperTigers, a website specializing in multicultural books for young readers. Seki’s book was chosen for the "2012 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set", which sends a set of four books to schools and libraries around the world.

Seki has appeared at many events to sign his books throughout California, Arizona, and also in New York City, at such locations as The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Kinokuniya Bookstore, the Arizona Matsuri Festival, and the Japanese-American Museum in Los Angeles.[9]

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