Tomoko Nakaone was born and raised in Tokyo. She earned her B.A. in English literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo and moved to Seattle in the early 90’s. She received her M.A. in Japanese applied linguistics and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Washington. She started teaching Japanese in 1996 and has taught at University of Washington, Seattle Central Community College and Everett Community College.
She joined Bellevue College in 2006 and has been teaching since then. In her leisure time, she enjoys yoga and taiko (Japanese drum).