Maria van der Aalsvoort is a linguist (University Nijmegen, 1983) and a visual artist (Art Academy Arnhem, 1992).  

She has been fascinated by Japan ever since she saw a Japanese print in her teens. After that, she visited the country several times and in her visual arts she draws inspiration from it in several ways. She is attracted to visual and spiritual aspects of Shinto rituals and to the aesthetics and refinement in Japanese culture as a whole, especially as reflected in sumi-e paintings.

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