When I was very small, maybe three or four years old, I liked things like mazes, puzzles, and logic puzzles. Even at that age I liked to think hard about these problems, and I loved the moment when I figured them out. I think at that point I already loved mathematics.«
»I really enjoy mathematics because it gives me the opportunity to travel a lot all over the world, and to meet so many nice people. I didn’t expect that I would be able to travel all over the world in my life. I love people, I love mathematics, and I love traveling. I have a lot of freedom. I can do mathematics at home, at a café, or even in my bed or in the bath. Compared to others working in companies, I am able to spend a lot of time with my children. I get more time with my children, with my family, and I also enjoy teaching. My work is really very nice.«
» […] some older PhD students – maybe post-docs – told me mathematics was too tough for me as a woman, recommending that I should not do it. They were struggling to find positions, and putting so much pressure on themselves. They told me that I’d have to be really strong to withstand it. And I remember thinking, “I don’t think I have that kind of strength,” but I went on anyway. I was actually very lucky in terms of getting my first position. Just after I finished my PhD, I got a tenured position at Keio University. It was an assistant professor position, but tenured. I was very, very lucky.