David Young was born in the United States and spent his childhood in Sierra Leone, West Africa. After obtaining his Ph.D. from Stanford University, he taught anthropology at the University of Alberta in Canada until he retired in 1999 and moved to Japan to continue his teaching career. Together with his wife, he has conducted research on Japanese aesthetics for many years. Michiko (Kimura) Young was born in China and raised in Japan. After graduating from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, she moved to the United States and then to Canada, where she worked for many years in the international affairs office at the University of Alberta. She and husband David co-authored The Art of the Japanese Garden. The Youngs now live on Gabriola Island off the west coast of Canada.