Hinali was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1976. She began needle felting by teaching herself in 2011, and participated in exhibitions held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. After her creations were shown on TV in Japan, they became a hot topic on the internet.
"Meet the latest "pet project" crafting trend. Developed in the early 1980s by American artisans, needle felting calls on zenlike patience as you cut, roll, fold and finally poke wool fibers until they bind into the lifelike shape you desire. You can make almost anything--flowers, angels, dragons--but cats are the most popular." --from a feature on artist Hinali and her book, Needle Felted Kittens, in Family Circle magazine, April 2018.