ー by kids for kids ー

About Us

For people of all ages who say, “I’m not an artist,” The Cardboard box Cafe is a safe and fun place that offers support while you explore your creative passion. No prior experience is required. We can show you that art is not a talent but art is how you see!


Yes! A Little Kid Started This
A story of our beginnings.


“Lunch is ready, Keita!” called his mother for the third time.

One summer vacation day, Keita, a third-grader, did not join the family for lunch which was very unusual.

“Where is he?” asked the mother.

“I wonder what he’s doing,” said the little sister, Mischa.

“Let’s just eat without him,” said the dad.

Everything was quiet. Then, right before the mother went looking, Keita appeared in the dining room holding a huge curious object with moving parts in both arms made from a cardboard box.

“What is it?” said Mischa jumping up.

They were all magnetically drawn toward the box. Keita had made a game! To be specific, an air hockey game, without air! The mallets were made from plastic bottle caps, bumper-walls were built with another cardboard box, and a little score tablet was hung from the wall. The whole family was pulled into the game and started playing and laughing together while the lunch got stone cold.

That was the beginning of it all.

From then on Keita kept making more and more games, and with his mother Naoko’s help, started a shop called “The Cardboard Box Arcade” where other kids and grown-ups could make stuff too.

Naoko recognized an opportunity when more and more people came in, so she used her graphic design and illustration skills to help Keita make one of his scribbles into a logo and put it on T-shirts and bags. Then, Mischa started to draw portraits of people who came to the shop. People lined up for this too! They printed Keita and Mischa’s art on stickers and postcards and held art exhibits. Keita started the “the Silent Cafe” where no one could speak, and Naoko offered workshops including “The Blind Art Workshop,” a “Talk Show,” along with a used-book store selling English picture-books. This was how is started. All inspired from the day the lunch got cold.