Born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1954. He completed his master's degree at the University of Tokyo in 1979. From 1985 to 1986, he studied at Columbia University as Visiting Scholar. From 2001 to 2008 he taught at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Keio University. In 2009 he was started as Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at The University of Tokyo. Among Kuma's major works are the Water/Glass (1995, AIA Benedictus Award), Stage in Forest, Toyoma Center for Performance Arts (1997, Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Award), Stone Museum (2000, International Stone Architecture Award 2001), Bato-machi Hiroshige Museum (2001, The Murano Prize). He was awarded the International Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award in 2002 (Finland), International Architecture Awards for the Best New Global Design for "Chokkura Plaza and Shelter" in 2007, and Energy Performance + Architecture Award in 2008 (France). Amongst numerous successful competitions, Kuma received First Prize, Besançon City of Arts and Culture Architecture Competition (2007, Besançon, France), and First Prize, Granatum - Granada Performing Arts Centre (2008, Granada, Spain).