Born in Akita City, 1954. KURATA studied under CHIBA Tetsuya after graduating from high school. After working as an assistant for five and a half years, he struck out on his own. He won the 4th Shogakukan New Face Comic Award and made his debut with the prize-winning Moeizuru (Start Sprouting...). KURATA won the 44th Shogakukan Manga Award in 1999 for Aji ichi monme (A Pinch of Seasoning), which he'd begun drawing in 1984. His Aji ichi monme series is currently ongoing. KURATA began teaching at Otemae University in 2009. He presently holds workshops in Japan and throughout the world, including China, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Paris, Seattle, Mongolia, and Ukraine. He is a member of Manga Japan, and a director of the Japan Cartoonists Association. He has served as a judge for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan International Manga Award, the Japan Cartoonists Association Manga Award, the Golden Dragon Award in Guangzhou, China, the Malaysian New Face Comic Award, and more.