Akira Nagaya, a self-taught Japenese Kirie (literally “cut paper” in Japanese) artist has spent the past 30 years of his life learning one of the most ancient and beautiful arts in the world. 

It requires patience, and brilliance, but most importantly… a willingness to endure years of paper cuts!

But what he creates though is nothing short of the brilliance you’d expect from a true master.

When Akira first started as a sushi chef over 30 years ago, he first learned
the art of delicate paper cutting through food preparation.
paper1

He would continue the art of using paper and a utility knife as he enjoyed the work.
paper2

Eventually increasing his skill to sheer mastery level.
paper3

Later, this 47 year old would eventually open his own restaurant
and even decorate the walls with his creations.
paper4

It didn’t take long for others in the community to discover his
work and spread it to the world.
paper5

paper6

paper7

paper8

paper9

paper10

paper11

(via Spoon & Tamago)

Amazingly enough, TV crews eventually showed up to learn about this amazing art and Akira’s work spread even further than he could ever imagine.  “That was the first time I even considered what I had been doing as art,” recalls Nagaya.

If you’d like to see more of Akira’s beautiful work, head over to his Facebook page.