So that all children may experience the joy of creating the future

Throughout the ages, till this day artists have lived and continued to create works - in some ages shaping history, in others becoming swept up in the tide of history. While the modes of expression have changed since we began drawing some tens of thousands of years ago, art has never disappeared from human history.

This fact suggests that despite the tendency to view art as something special, as the monopoly of artists and the privileged few, art is intimately connected with who we are as humans - our desires, hopes, dreams and evolution. It also implies art has an important role to play in our lives and in the world.

What is the meaning of art? What is it for?
What is art?
I founded White Ship in 2001 and ELAB’s predecessor, the Institute of Communication Art (IOCA), in 2011 in an attempt to find my own answers to these questions. I wanted to understand how art can create meaningful change in the world. White Ship is an attempt to take the world as my canvas to explore new expressions and ideas of what art can be and is part of my art practice.
In the world we live in today we are faced with many challenges, and I believe that art can play a critical role in helping us find solutions or at least offer us clues to finding new ways to confront these challenges. I think that the role of art as a borderless communication tool that transcends race and nationality will also become increasingly important. I believe that our art practice and the art of the future can help us create a world of human flourishing. This is my belief and my hope.

Kunihiko Yazawa
Artist・Chair of the Board

Our Work

Art-based learning programs empowering the next generation to create the future

We deliver programs for youth under 25, with a focus on middle and high-school students around the following themes:

  • Self: Developing the next generation of young people empowered to create their own paths to the future 
  • Society: Developing leaders able to solve the challenges we face as a society
  • Global: Creating dialogues and deep connections which transcend borders and language

Creating the infrastructure and conditions to expand the reach of art-based learning and creative ways of living


  • Engaging in research & development, knowledge sharing/dissemination, and training of professionals in the area of art-based learning
  • Creating structures to support the adoption, internalisation, scale out of art-based learning in schools
  • Organizing and producing events and exhibitions
  • Building communities which transcend age and culture through art

Our Team

KUNIHIKO YAZAWA Chair of the Board of Directors
Kunihiko Yazawa is a Tokyo-based artist who began his career in 1994.
"Why do we paint?" - this simple question drives Yazawa's practice, and he continues to explore this theme through his object-making and various art projects.

HIROKO TAKAHASHI  Executive Director - Finance

After completing her undergraduate studies, Hiroko joined MUFG Bank, Ltd. where she had a 31-year career in a variety of roles spanning finance, fund settlement and firm-wide diversity initiatives. Hiroko’s experience of working with people with diverse backgrounds deepened her belief in the strength and resilience of organizations which embrace diversity. Her desire to get involved in the kind of education that empowers the next generation of youth to live authentically and create their own futures inspired her to join ELAB. Hiroko is a graduate of TOTSUKITOKA - 10-month EGAKU Intensive Course. Today she continues her EGAKU practice as part of her broader learning journey.

Art Producer
CEO,  White Ship, Inc.    

Kimi Hasebe founded White Ship in 2001 with artist, Kunihiko Yazawa. She has developed programs which explore the possibilities of art considered from the viewpoint of both the artist and audience, and over the years she has established an art management practice which unlocks the creativity of individuals and organizations. Through her work designing and implementing art programs for business professionals and large corporations she has been closely involved in supporting organizational transformation. To date, she has implemented art programs for over 150 companies. She is also involved in artist management, art incubation, studio management, curation and the production of art exhibitions.

Global Projects

Ryoko heads Global Projects at White Ship, and is also involved in ELAB’s work with youth and students. She is passionate about exploring the role of art in human development in all its dimensions. Prior to joining White Ship, Ryoko worked in various global investment management roles in Hong Kong, New York, London and Tokyo at Goldman Sachs, TPG Axon and Deutsche Asset Management where she focussed on sustainable investments in Asia. Ryoko holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs and read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford.

Community Leader    

Sotaro Tsunagi is a fundraiser for non-profits and other organizations in the social sector at STYX/Syncable. As the national manager of Tomarigi, the student community of Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative, he was responsible for organizing 200 events nationwide, as well as an event for 350 people at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan (MEXT). At ELAB Sotaro focuses on fundraising and community building amongst the student community and young professionals.

MISAKO ISHII  Executive Director - Operations
After graduating from Keio University, Faculty of Law, Misako Fukuda joined SIGMAXYZ Inc. as a business consultant. At SIGMAXYZ, she was responsible for leading various projects in the areas of business process re-engineering, IT system implementation and new business development. During her time at SIGMAXYZ, she was also involved in Vision Forest - a collaboration project with White Ship which uses art to help transform people and organizations. Misako joined ELAB after her experience at Vision Forest and transformative personal experience through the TOTSUKITOKA course deepened her appreciation for the power of art to create authentic learning experiences and enrich our lives.

Our Supporters


Mitsubishi Memorial Foundation for Educational Excellence

Corporate partner member





Artist Kunihiko Yazawa and Kimi Hasebe found White Ship with the mission to create a world of human flourishing through art


Started EGAKU Program for elementary school students


Started EGAKU Program for business professionals


EGAKU Program for environment & sustainability education for high school students


Started regular EGAKU sessions for business professionals


Held the Shingetsu (New Moon) Seminar - an art management program


Launched EGAKU for corporates practice 


ELAB (formerly the Institute of Communication Art) is founded as White Ship's nonprofit arm


Started EGAKU for university students including participants of the University of Tokyo Global Health Leadership Program


Started EGAKU for areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami including Hisanohama Daiichi Elementary School, Iwaki City, Fukushima


Started EGAKU for young global leaders including participants of the University of Tokyo Innovation Summer Program


Moved to Moto-Akasaka along with White Ship's office move

Launched programs for middle school students, including EGAKU for Minato Municipal Aoyama Junior High School @Google Tokyo


ELAB conducts an organizational review with a renewed focus on young people - spanning middle-school students, university students and under-25 youth - with a particular emphasis on senior high school students.  Launched programs for high-school students.  




6F Terasawa Bldg., 1-7-17 Motoakasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0051, Japan
Tel : (+81)3-6434-9785  Fax : (+81)3-6434-9786  Email:
6 minute walk from Ginza/Marunouchi Line Akasaka-mitsuke Station Exit B
6 minute walk from Yurakucho/Hanzomon/Namboku Line Nagata-cho Station Exit B
15 minute walk from Ginza/Hanzomon/Oedo Line Aoyama Itchome Station Exit 2