Sonoko was born and educated in Japan, where she was a registered nurse and a licensed teacher of Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging.
After relocating to New York City, Sonoko studied English and literature at Columbia University’s American Language Program and history and literature at Marymount Manhattan College. She continues to study English literature, especially poetry, as well as Japanese folk and court dance.
For many years, Sonoko worked in New York as a reporter and commentator for the Japanese radio program New York Today, and as a floral designer.
She is currently an registered nurse. Her life in New York was the subject of a 2004 documentary for Japanese television. Sonoko assisted with WYLN’s Peace Concert for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala in 2004, has appeared as a dancer in various venues, including the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and read Yukiko Sugihara’s poetry at WYLN’s Carnegie Hall concert in New York in 2007.