Born and raised in Aichi, Japan, Mieko worked as an administrative dietitian in the welfare section of a major company in Japan. In her mid 20s, she decided to take a first step to pursuing her long-time interest in language teaching and came to the U.S. as an assistant Japanese teacher in elementary and high schools. As she gained her teaching experience at various K-12 schools and adult language schools in the Baltimore area, she developed an interest in Linguistics and earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park. She then received an M.A. in Japanese Linguistics and finished her Ph.D. course work at the University of Arizona.
Her experience before joining the UVa faculty in 2007 includes Middlebury College Japanese Language School, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University.
Currently, as a member of the J-GAP (Japan Global Articulation Project) USA Team, she is promoting articulation among K-16 Japanese language programs in the Mid-Atlantic area.