Yoko is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Comparative Social Research, the Faculty of Arts and Education. She is originally from Tokyo but spent her childhood also in Vancouver, Sydney and Osaka.
After finishing a BA degree in English Literature at Kobe College (Japan) in 1985, she took up a job at a Japanese retailing company and worked at one of its outlets, international division, PR office and Chairman’s office until she decided to return to Australia as an international postgraduate student in 2003.
She first completed a Master of Social Change and Development at the University of Wollongong and then graduated with a PhD degree in 2009. Her PhD thesis Floating Between the Orient and the Occident: Japan, Australia and Their Inferiority Complex examined the two countries’ similarity in international arena, especially in relation to Asia.
Yoko’s primary research interest is in Australia – from politics, history, public policies, social problems, sports to popular music. Comparing Australian issues with the situation in Japan always fascinates her. She is now particularly focusing on the whaling dispute between the two countries.
When she moved down to Melbourne in July 2010 for the new job, a friend in Wollongong told her that she would be moving from the best village (the Gong) in Australia to the best city in the country. Yoko is gradually discovering whether the remark was true or not.