It was love that drew Masako Nemoto-Deacon to her current home, London, in 1997 but she believes that her leaving Japan had been inevitable. After spending a year living in former West Germany as a child and listening to her father's experiences as a researcher in Europe, Australia and India, the Chiba Prefecture native had an intuitive curiosity to settle abroad.

"I had seen the world via my father's stories and realized we weren't living in a box but instead were all connected," Nemoto-Deacon says. "I also knew in my gut that if I wanted to pursue a career it would be better to go somewhere outside Japan."

Despite holding a degree in Japanese history from Japan Women's University, Nemoto-Deacon found few career options on graduation in 1990.