Kawata grew up on the West Coast of California although her family was from Japan. As she was trying to make sense of her interest in art and difference between both her cultures, she heard about a small craft school Capellagården on a beautiful island to the east of Sweden. She decided to move there to study ceramics. She then decided to continue her studies and took up masters at the University of Gothenburg HDK where she continued her work as a ceramic artist there.