Haruko Kinase was born November 20, 1950 to Saioshi and Aiko Kinase in Kamakura, Japan. She came to the USA in late September of 1983, and has since lived in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. She had never lived so long in any one place until then. "It has given me great pleasure to become involved in community affairs, and joining the Champaign County Section of the National Council of Negro Women in 1994 has been a very enriching experience.”
By the time she went to college, she had been to seven schools and through four different educational systems. From August, 1957 to October, 1960, she had lived in the Philippines, first in Manila, then in Quezon City. She gained fluency in English, thanks largely to Maryknoll, a school run mainly by American and Canadian Nuns. From November, 1960 to November 1965, she lived in Tokyo, Japan, and then from November 1965 to July 1968, she lived in Bern, Switzerland. From July, 1968 to August 1973, she lived in England, the first two years in London, followed by three years in Falmer, Sussex.
During those years, she completed her BA (1973) in International Relations at the University of Sussex, and passed her 'practicals' - as her friends tell her - by marrying Tony Leggett, an Englishman and a Physicist, soon after graduation.
From August, 1973 to April 1974, Haruko lived in Tokyo, Japan. Then from May, 1974 to September, 1983 the family lived in Brighton, England. Together, they had a daughter, Elizabeth Asako, born on September 28, 1978.
She gained her MA (1975) and her Master of Philosophy in Politics from the University of Sussex. In September, 1983, the family immigrated to the United States so that her husband could take a job offered by the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Campus.
After coming to Champaign-Urbana, Haruko obtained her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Campus, in the Spring of 2000. Part of her research involved studying three churches in Champaign-Urbana. Becoming involved in the community in so many different ways ( as a parent, wife, as a researcher, and as a member of some of the community-based organizations) has been very rewarding for her.