100 Years of Asian Female Pilots
Tadashi Hyodo was the first Asian woman to earn a pilot licence, 1922
Born in the district of Kita Uwa-gun, Japan, Tadashi Hyodo (1899 – 1980) grew up watching her father who was fascinated with flight sketch airplanes. When he passed away, she committed to fulfilled his flying dreams by becoming a pilot.
In 1920, she was accepted as a student pilot at a Tsudanuma flight school managed by Japanese aviation pioneer, Otojirō Itō. The training cost was extremely high – as much as 2 Yen per minute at a time when a college graduates made 40 Yen per month. It did slow her down as she was working to pay for her flight lessons but it did not deter her. On March 21, 1922, she successfully passed her flight test to earn Japan’s 38th pilot licence and became the world’s first Asian female pilot.
A year later, Kwon Ki-ok of Korea, entered the Republic of China Air Force and was the second Asian female pilot when she graduated in 1925.