Yoko charms viewers in the first episode of Queer Eye: We're in Japan. After losing her sister, Yoko took up a career as a hospice nurse, and it fully consumed her life. That's part of why the Fab Five were there, to help Yoko refocus on herself a bit. After Queer Eye, Yoko fully embraced what she was taught as far as scaling back at work.
She also reveals to Refinery29 via email that she's dating now and "looking for someone who can hold my hand." Someone would be so lucky to have Yoko in their life. But it gets better: She says she has that time to date now in part because she added a staff to her hospice operation. (Yes!)
"So my working time has decreased," she writes. "That means I can spend more time for myself! Yasss!!" The Fab Five clearly taught her well.
The guys all worked with Yoko to help her see that she deserved time for herself. She had poured so much of her energy into her hospice center and also into opening a community center next door called the Kuma-Chan House that she hadn't prioritized herself. She says that being on Queer Eye totally changed her view on life.
"The Fab Five made me feel seen and they accepted me as I am. Their continuous warm words of encouragement taught me how to face and enjoy life," she says, adding, "Just being around them really made me more happy ... Their positivity is infectious! I really learned so much from my experience with them." She pauses while answering my question about what she learned from her time on the show to write, "I'm honestly crying just thinking about all of this."
"I see a whole new Yoko ... Inside and out."
Yoko from queer eye: We're in Japan!
It was clear in the episode that the Fab Five had a real impact on her life. Not only did Bobby Berk redo her community center to include a bedroom for herself (she'd been sleeping under a table in her completely full hospice house before), but the rest of the men made her feel valued and worthy — and helped her see those things in herself as well.
"I see a whole new Yoko," she says now. "Inside and out."
Even as she puts more energy towards herself and her personal life, she is still very much wrapped up in her career in hospice care. She says that community center, which had only just opened in the episode, "is energetic and lively now." She adds, "Though I am still surprised [by] how different it all looks, I feel so comfortable living in the new space."
Yoko has spent so much of her life giving back to others and not herself. It seems she's now found a happy balance of both. The Fab Five may have started that journey for her, but she's kept it up all on her own, and she deserves every bit of credit for doing so. As the Fab Five (and now Yoko, too) would say: Yaaas!