Kirie (切り絵, literally cut paper) is the Japanese art of paper cutting. Akira Nagaya is a self-taught artist whose creative roots are, surprisingly, in the culinary world of sushi. Roughly 30 years ago, as a young 20-something, Nagaya was working at a sushi shop. One of his first tasks was to learn sasabaran, a technique to create decorations by cutting slices into bamboo leaves. Back at home, and recalling his boss’s demonstration, Nagaya tried to practice using paper and a utility knife. He found that the technique came quite naturally, and he enjoyed doing it.