Born and raised in the countryside of Central Japan in Gifu, Kuma later moved to Tokyo with an interest to pursue haircutting. This quickly transitioned to makeup, which he later studied at the VANTAN Design Institute. It was during his studies where he built a community of Japanese creatives already working between New York and Europe that broadened his interest to leave Japan.
Kuma moved to New York upon wrapping his studies in Tokyo and began an apprenticeship with makeup artist and creative director Mizu where he learned the rhythm of the editorial, shows, and product development. Kuma credits his time with Mizu, Kanako Takase and Peter Philips as instrumental to developing his personal practice and discipline.
The pandemic propelled Kuma to focus and further pursue his personal practice. Kuma thrives creatively when presented with diverse and unconventionally beautiful talent and references. His collaborative and highly adaptive nature on set makes him a well-respected and sough after member of the teams. When Kuma is not on set, he enjoys researching art and makeup, and fishing throughout New York.
Kuma has worked with photographers including Juergen Teller, Richard Burbridge, Ethan James Green, Daniel Jackson, and Tyler Mitchell and stylists like Patti Wilson, Tonne Goodman, Benjamin Bruno, and Carlos Nazario. Kuma has collaborated on advertising campaigns and seasonal fashion shows for clients such as Tom Ford, Saint Laurent, Loewe, Dion Lee, Altuzarra, Paco Rabanne, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Zara.
Kuma is based in New York.