I wanted to paint the way I felt about my life with Buddhism, especially as a woman living in the United states, since there was a big difference from what I experienced in Japan. In the 1980s, many women were practicing Buddhism which eventually led to the women’s spirituality movement and became the significance of American Buddhism. There were few female Buddhas so I thought I had to create it – I made an effort to transform male deities into female deities. Over the years, I have painted the deities that I felt that I could identify myself with. For an example, If I want to be strong, I create a Goddess of compassion with a sword to cut through my illusions. In 1982, I was lay-ordained in the Soto Zen tradition and received the name, Ekai, "Merciful Sea" – Yumyo "mysterious depth knowing".