Michael Hattori grew up on the Monterey Peninsula and was interested in Japanese arts and crafts from a young age. He began his study of kumihimo during a year abroad in 1979 at the Dômyô school in Tokyo, which was established over 300 years ago.
In 2000, through Richard Sutherland, he met and began studies with the Japanese kumihimo master, Makiko Tada, as well as Andean and Japanese braiding master, Rodrick Owen. He has since studied and gained proficiency in all forms of kumihimo, marudai and takadai in particular.
He teaches privately, as well as at conferences; he also served as the U.S. Liason for the 2007 International Kumihimo Conference in Kyoto, Japan and will be teaching at the international Braids conference in Iga, Japan, in 2019.
Currently, his passion is braid reconstruction, historical braids in particular. He has successfully reconstructed a number of extremely complex braids, some of which date back over a thousand years. He plans to write a book on the history of kumihimo, as well as make instructional videos.