Kimiko Tamura was born in Hawaii in 1914; her mother took her six children and went back to Japan when she was five years old. She went to nursing school and after graduating, she returned to America, stopping in Hawaii to visit her father. She married and had one daughter; the family was interned at Manzanar during the war. Kimi began ceramics in 1968 and has been making ceramics since then. In Berkeley, California where she lived after she retired from nursing, she studied at Laney College in Oakland,. She has specialized in teapots for several years. She moved to Maui with her daughter, Michi Itami, and her husband, Bill Hess, in January, 2007. Her studio is in Haiku.