Alright, I am once again answering the decades-old question: Who/ What is akiko?
The million dollar answer: I am akiko.
Here's the story:
Back in the day (sophomore year of high school, to be exact) I was working on a project in the library when my friend, Wendy, asked me how I would pronounce some of the Japanese names in the book she was reading. I was saying them in really funny ways and making her laugh, and she especially liked the way I said Akiko. Later on in our Commercial Art class she wrote akiko and it looked great; she started calling me Akiko and it stuck.
I called her Hiroshi Yoshi Yoko for awhile, but it just wasn't as catchy as Akiko.
I started signing all my clay pieces and other artwork as akiko and it became my pen name when I wrote as well. When I lived in Manhattan I went by Akiko (it was shortened to 'kiko quite a bit. As if Akiko isn't short enough!) and most people never questioned it and never knew it wasn't my real name.
Moving back to Syracuse was a different story. So many people knew me as Criss that it couldn't catch on as well. Those people are still confused to hear me referred to as Christine now instead of Criss. (The cliff notes of that story- my friend Kosta said Christina was the Greek version, so he always called me Christina. Anyone who met me when I worked at his restaurant was introduced to me as Christina, then I would tell them actually it is Christine. I decided later that Christine was more professional as well.)
So there you have it. I've blown my own cover.
Well, we all know that Clark Kent is Superman and Anakin is Darth Vador and the world still turns, so I guess it's ok.