Interview with Kyoko Waseda-Hida

A Lively and Multi-Cultured Military Career Woman from a Line of
Trailblazing Japanese Women

“The interesting thing is my father's mother is from the Meiji era and passed away when she 105. She was born in 1907. That was time when Japan was becoming a modern state. She was a career woman. She had six children. It was very special for that time. She was a teacher at an all girls high school. My aunts would tell me 'grandma is a career woman these days. She would come home for lunch and breastfeed your father and then went right back to class.' "

“I went to Japan to become more Japanese. I wanted to regain my identity."

“When I used to be a banker, the managerial track people were sent from New York to the branches. I was sent to the most conservative parts of the country...from New York to somewhere way conservative. I went there. We were there to pump out reports and interview but when I called to make an appointment, [she said] " 'Who is actually the person who will be coming?' Me! Even if I went somewhere as an analyst: 'Oh, are you single? When are you planning to marry?...[When you are about 24] You are still working? Aren't you supposed to be looking for a nice husband?' "

“I didn't tell myself, ‘No, Kyoko, don't go into the military because that's more of  a man's thing or it's dangerous.’ " On her career in the military

“You’re 50 could be someone else’s 30 but who cares?… I think I should have been counting more of my blessings and enjoying what I was blessed with, and I regret it. It’s lost time.” Reflecting on her younger self