Tokyo Woman's Christian University

President's Message

Tokyo Woman’s Christian University opened with seventy-six students on April 30, 1918. The world then was in the midst of the Spanish Flu pandemic and World War I. In such times of uneasiness and darkness, TWCU was established with the Christian motto “Service and Sacrifice” and a goal of fostering independent women who would become pioneers in a new era, capable of determining their own actions based on their own intellect. This aim was in stark contrast to the standard view of education for Japanese women at the time, which promoted an ideal of “good-wife, wise-mother” and a utilitarianism aimed at making women useful for the nation.

The challenge continues today, more than a hundred years after the foundation of TWCU. As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lives, we have come to re-question not only conventional common sense and behavioral patterns, but also the world views and ethical patterns that underlie them. In times of extreme change, along with immediate knowledge and skills, we must gain the ability to rethink fundamental principles, to understand ourselves and our surroundings from a broad perspective, and to make decisions and accept responsibilities even in difficult circumstances. The Liberal Arts, which the university has valued and promoted since its foundation, are precisely what is needed in this unstable time. Inazo Nitobe, the first President of TWCU, described the aim as “insight rather than knowledge, character rather than learning, and personality rather than talent.”

TWCU has produced more than 60,000 graduates. Their actions as “the salt of the earth and light of the world” have earned TWCU a high reputation and trust. In recent years, women’s universities worldwide have been seen again to provide an ideal environment for women to grow, to express themselves freely, and to cultivate leadership skills. In Japan, where women have lagged behind in social advancement, the government and corporations have finally set a goal of increasing the number of women in management positions to 30%. TWCU will remain faithful to its mission of fostering women who are excellent in insight, character, and personality, and who continue to contribute in important ways to society.

TWCU welcomes women with high aspirations who will carry forward with us our original mission, and who will continue forward with steady steps in the ever-changing society. We look forward welcoming you to our beautiful green campus.

Anri Morimoto, President