Japanese-born Kimiko Sakai graduated from Toyo University in 1982. She came to America and moved to Nashville in 1995. Soon after, she studied photography at Nashville State Technical College and began quickly to develop her own photographic style and techniques. Tutored by some of her painter friends, she began to focus on hand painting each image to make each piece unique.  By 2000, she had already won a national photography contest, and was well on her way with her own professional career. In 2007, Travelers Rest commissioned Kimiko to identify and document sites in Nashville related to “The Lives of Women in Nineteenth-Century Nashville,” an exhibit curated by Rob DeHart and presented as a one-person show at the Metro Public Library downtown.