Kuniko Yamamoto

A native of Japan, Kuniko Yamamoto received her Bachelor of Psychology from Otani University of Kyoto, Japan in 1983, then started performing professionally in her hometown of Osaka where she grew up studying traditional dance, music and theater. In 1985, she received national exposure performing Japanese Storytelling at the Silk Road International Exposition and on Kansai National TV. The following year, Kuniko traveled to the United States to study with Tony Montanaro, a highly respected mime and actor and toured with Leland Faulkner Light Theater where she helped present lavish stage illusions and brought ancient tales to life with shadows and magic. For the past 25 years Kuniko has performed her solo shows in theaters, schools, colleges, and festivals across the country.

She was married to the late Jon LeClair, a world-renowned magician whose books appear in magic shops worldwide. It was Jon who brought magic to her life—on stage and off stage—adding subtle magic and mystery to her stories.

Kuniko has performed in numerous venues of note including The Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Disney Epcot Japanese Pavilion, Seattle’s International Festival, International Children’s Festival in Canada, and the National Storytelling Festival.

In 2015, she built Origami Air Art Studio as a creative hub, where she collaborates with local artists in Sarasota, Florida.