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Educational ideal

We support each and every student in establishing their identity as women in today’s world.

Since its establishment in 1901, Japan Women’s University has been at the vanguard of women’s education Japan, based on the ideal of our founder, Jinzo Naruse, that women should be ‘educated first and foremost as human beings’ (Women’s Education). At a time when inequality between men and women was still taken for granted in both Japan and Western countries, Naruse promoted the education of women as equals to men; he wished to free women from outdated modes of thinking towards a new awareness and pride in themselves as women and citizens of the world.

From the early days of social inequality, we have gone on to produce pioneers in a variety of disciplines, offering a comprehensive education in the university’s four main Faculties of Home Economics, Humanities, Integrated Arts and Social Sciences, and Science. We were also one of the first universities to establish a graduate school, whose alumnae have been active in many fields.

Students acquire the founder’s three principles of ‘true conviction’, ‘creativity’ and ‘cooperation and service’, which support them in their lives after graduation, whether in society or in the home.

Looking toward the next hundred years, the university has decided to add a farther ideal in order to help students achieve their full potential and find meaning in their lives in this period of great change.

We will continue to value the traditional aims of the university:

To give broad knowledge, to instruct and study specialized liberal arts in depth, to cultivate the ability to apply knowledge, and to work on perfection of personality in order to foster the members of a peaceful state and society, as well as to improve the educational research level to this end. (Articles 1 and 2 of the university’s regulations).

In addition, we are striving to provide educational, research, and other social opportunities that will produce women capable of leadership and innovation in the global and local communities based on the contemporary values of respect for life and respect for others.

These beliefs are maintained at every level of the university from the kindergarten through to graduate school. They include the correspondence courses, which have been running now for more than fifty years, and the lifelong learning center, which offers courses for the local community and the general public, as well as a variety of liaisons with both domestic and overseas educational institutions.

As time changes, so too does the purpose of women’s education. In the current climate of conflict and competition, the need to harness women’s potential is greater than ever before. Thus, the mission of our university is to foster highly specialized abilities useful for resolving the various challenges faced by contemporary society, the capacity to apply and express those abilities, and an awareness of the changing needs and diverse values of the times. Our mission is rooted in the comprehensive education provided under our founder’s three principles.

The social advancement of women and challenge of balancing a career and home life are still problematic in Japan, but the internal and external networks of Japan Women’s University serve as major supports in overcoming such obstacles, containing as they do numerous examples of successful alumnae. We have a major role to play in working towards the fulfillment of true gender equality.