“The name ‘Kyoritsu’, meaning ‘standing together’ in Japanese, came from the fact that there were a total of 34 people involved in the foundation of the school – among them were educator Haruko Hatoyama, Kyuichiro Nagai (the father of writer Kafu Nagai), and educator Seiichi Tejima. Kyoritsu Women’s College in 1939 had 1,430 students and 120 teachers.
“The founding of Kyoritsu marked the dawn of women’s education in Japan. After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan embraced capitalism, modernized society and became competitive in the global economy. Our founders felt the need to promote human rights for women, to educate 19th century women in knowledge and skills, and to elevate their position in society.
“In 1886, thirty-four leading academics, pioneers of women’s education in Japan at that time, established Kyoritsu Women’s Occupational Institute. The application document submitted to the Government gave ‘women’s self-reliance’ as the objective of the proposed Institute, declaring that ‘Suitable jobs need to be created and women given the means to participate in the world of work.’
“Emperor Meiji, and later the Empress, visited the new school to see displays of the students’ work; they even purchased embroideries made by students. In time, due to increasing student numbers, additional space was required, and land adjoining the campus was purchased from the Imperial Household Agency.
“The core of the Institute’s curriculum at its founding was the teaching of skills and knowledge needed for career jobs. Our founding principle was ‘To improve women’s position in society by promoting self-reliance.’ Kyoritsu Women’s Educational Institution has flourished for 126 years by abiding by this philosophy.
“In 1928, the Institute became a college, shifting its primary focus from teaching vocational-technical skills to a curriculum of academic subjects.”
– Kyoritsu Women’s University & Junior College
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