Yuko Matsubara graduated from Reitaku University in Japan with a BA in English Language and Literature. She also earned a BA in English Language Teaching from the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom and an MA in Second Language Teaching from the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz. She taught elementary level Japanese courses and intermediate level Japanese courses at SUNY New Paltz for ten years. She joined Vassar College in 2000. She has taught intermediate and advanced courses at Vassar. Matsubara also completed a course on the Finnish language in Rauma, Finland (the Finnish government administered this course). She has been studying traditional Japanese tea ceremony for more than ten years; she now studies Japanese tea ceremony at the prestigious Urasenke Chanoyu Center in Manhattan. She instructed Vassar students on how to perform the traditional Japanese tea ceremony at Vassar’s annual Culture Day. She also gave a Japanese tea ceremony demonstration and a lecture on the tea ceremony at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center’s event: “Kaleidoscope: Interdisciplinary Views on Art - The Ways of Tea.” She received a Carolyn Grant award in 2011 for a project titled: “Exploring the Roots of Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony to Find Out How this Zen Buddhist Art Can Be Applied to Contemporary Life: Hands On Experience at the Urasenke Chanoyu Center in New York City.”
Matsubara has translated documents for various organizations, she has worked as an interpreter for visiting Japanese business people, and she developed a course for teaching Japanese to people who will be travelling to Japan.