Ari Koinuma Portrait by Amy ColleenMy name is Ari Koinuma (pronounced ko-ee-noo-ma).  I’m a songwriter, guitarist, and blogger.  My passion lies in writing meaningful songs and learning the art of living.

My site is a bit unusual in that it spans several of my interests.  You may find something interesting if you’re into:

  • rock music,
  • songwriting,
  • guitar,
  • self improvement/personal development, and
  • mental health.


First and foremost, I am a rock songwriter and I write and record music under two artistic identities: Minnasia (currently a duo with singer Voua ‘Bob’ Yang) or Aristotle’s Hope (my solo project).  They both feature my signature style, which is to develop long (7-10 minutes) progressive rock songs about darker moments in life.

I am a music fanatic and I have a sweet spot for rock, metal and folk songs with poetic, meaningful lyrics.  So I write about what songs mean to me and particularly enjoy exploring what insights we can draw about ourselves and life out of songs.

As a musicmaker, whenever a song ‘works’ for me I like to examine how it’s made to see what I can learn about making powerful music.  I have my own musicmaking philosophy called Impactful Music and analyze songs that I consider are successful.

Finally, I have passion for guitar and I’d love to become a guitarist and in a rock band again when the time is ripe.  In my dream of dreams I’d build up Minnasia to be a full-fledged progressive rock band with a rhythm section and a cello, where everyone sings and collaborates on songwriting.


I like my life because every year I get better at it.  I enjoy learning, exploring and solving problems.  I particularly love it when I discover lines that connect dots that previously didn’t seem related — some wisdom, nuggets or insights that you gain from one area but are also applicable somewhere completely different.  My self improvement/personal development quest heavily focuses on psychology and mental health, because I find it to be foundational and universal.  And this thirst for uncommon truths and insights inform my musicmaking as well.

I decided to call this type of content life insights because they typically are more abstract than tips,  hacks and skills.  I am a big-picture person so I tend to focus on just gaining deeper understanding of a topic or an issue, and from that understanding flows specific steps to fix or address concrete problems.



I was born in Tokyo but I lived in São Paulo from age 12-18, then came to USA to attend St. Olaf College.  Married a fellow Ole and lived in Austin, Texas for 10 years.  Now I live in St. Paul, Minnesota with my wife and two kids.  I’m an INFJ.

Photography: Amy Colleen