Noriko was born in Kyoto, Japan. When she was 20, she attended an international Girl Scout camp in Switzerland. She was the only non-English speaker in the camp. When the other scouts asked her to teach the Japanese Language and Japanese songs, she realized that teaching Japanese to people from other countries was a lot of fun. Then, she decided to become a Japanese language teacher.
She earned a M.A. in Japanese Linguistics from Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan in 1998. She taught Japanese to English speaking students in many programs such as Vassar College, Colgate University, Lancing Community College, Highline Community College, and the Critical Language Scholarship. She also enjoyed teaching students from many different countries at universities in Japan such as Ritsumeikan University, and Doshisha University.
In addition to Japanese languages, she taught Japanese Literature, Linguistics and Pedagogy to Japanese students in Japan. After she enjoyed teaching in the Asian Studies Program as an associate professor at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan, she moved to Seattle, Washington in the fall of 2009. She taught Japanese at Shoreline Community College and Highline Community College. Then, she became a member of the World Language Department Faculty at Bellevue College in the fall of 2013.