Mika Negishi Laidlaw: Rest. Born and raised in Kobe, Japan, Mika Negishi Laidlaw has worked both in the U. S. and Japan. She earned B.A. in Studio Art from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1994. After the undergraduate study, Mika went back to Japan to work as a ceramic apprentice at Akishino Pottery, and studied traditional pottery under Masaya Imanishi from 1994-7 in Nara-City, Japan.