Yoneguma and Kiyoka were from the first generation of Japanese Americans whose parents emigrated to America in the early 20th century. They married in 1938 and had children. But the Second World War began, and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the American authorities decided to take all the Japanese living in the United States to concentration camps.
In the camp they began to learn how to carve little birds out of wood. Yoneguma made the birds and Kiyoka painted them.
Leaving the camp, they decided to start their own small jewelry making business. Word of these jewels spread very quickly, and even large department stores wanted to work with them. But the work was so painstaking and delicate that it became a real art.
Takahashi products were discontinued when Kiyoka fell ill and could no longer paint birds. She died in 1994 and Yoneguma in 2004 at the age of 95.
They were able to make a huge contribution to the arts and crafts and now their work is in the collections of many museums.
Takahashi products are an inspiration to a huge number of artists, who sometimes try to make direct copies of their work, or create something of their own, inspired by Takahashi.
Takahashi bird is still on sale. True, there are a huge number of copies.