Yoko Takirai was born in 1971. Since the early nineties she has been in charge of design at the studio of Yuzo Yamashita in Tokyo. She later attained a degree in History of Art and Foreign Languages at West Virginia University in the USA, and worked at the Museum of Japanese Literature in Tokyo. In 1995 she moved to Florence to study at the jewellery school "Le Arti Orafe", where she obtained a diploma in goldsmith's art and jewellery design, stone setting and engraving. This was followed by a diploma in project jewellery design from the Istituto d'Arte di Firenze. Between 1998 and 2000 Yoko taught goldsmith's art at the "Alchimia" school, shortly afterwards becoming assistant to Giampaolo Babetto. Another important artistic collaboration took place in 1998 with Pietro Pellitteri. In 2002, Yoko founded Takirai Design in Florence, a company specializing in contemporary jewellery designs. Today, Yoko creates from a studio-workshop space located at the "Spazio Arti de Mestieri", also where the Fondazione di Firenze per l'Artigianato Artistico is based. Her collections have been exhibited at numerous shows both in Italy and abroad. In 2007 her creations contributed to the collection exhibited at the Museo degli Argenti di Palazzo Pitti in Florence. Her works are also on show at the Museo Internationale delle Arti Applicate Oggi in Torino and at Design Centrum Kielce in Poland.
Yoko Takirai's jewellery conveys expressions of new concepts of space. A multiplicity of paths animate her designs and for this reason they often conceal something unexpected. The necklaces, the rings and the earrings, both in the three dimensional and in the linear forms, express an emotion or movement which only reveals itself when they are worn. Sometimes enigmatic in their shape, her jewellery unveils itself when it becomes one with the body, revealing a lightness, an elegance and a strong feminine sinuosity. And all this is felt in spite of the geometric lines used in some of her collections. Her research manages to achieve forms which are pure and to unite elegance and comfort. Delicately elaborated objects are achieved thanks to a devotion to workshop research, which can be accomplished only by one who has mastered the technical skills able to transfer an emotion filtered by movements and whose simple and clean forms are preserved. Delicately worked, these jewels , in a serene attempt - triumphant - acquire a state of purity, enhanced in quality.