[My parents] worried, for instance, that I would go crazy studying mathematics. This was when I was a high school student. I come from a very small town, and there were no role models there of people who had succeeded as researchers, particularly female researchers. There was only a negative example – a very talented man my mother knew in high school who went to Tokyo to study math, and returned with some mental health issues.«
»The joy of mathematics is the joy of adventure. Studying mathematics is like going on an adventure without a map. You see your goal, the mountain over there, and you think you can get there, but then you find a large valley between where you and the mountain. It’s an adventure with no map. And making the map is the task of the mathematician.«
»In terms of hardships, the difficult part is that the goddess of mathematics does not smile at you every time. Because there is no map for what you need to do. Sometimes you think you’re going in the right direction, but you’re wrong. This is difficult. When I discover that I was wrong in what I was doing, then I’m very disappointed. I want to put new knowledge, new information on the map. I’m quite accustomed to these negative circumstances now. I know that even if it’s not a good situation, I can always go in a different direction. There is always another way to try.