Jissen Women's University was founded in 1899 by Utako Shimoda, a pioneer in Japanese women's education. At a time of relative social inequality for women, Shimoda was deeply knowledgeable about aspects of Japanese culture that ranged from waka poems to classical literature, and had a broad knowledge of home economics that encompassed food, clothing, and shelter. The very embodiment of jissen (taking action), she operated on a forward-thinking set of ideals developed while studying in the USA and Europe.
Her opportunity to make a difference began in 1893 when she traveled to Europe and America to observe the state of advanced education for women. This experience taught her the necessity of general education for women and developed in her a strong interest in building a private women's school to achieve this goal. This ambition took shape in the Jissen Girls' School and Jissen Girls' Polytechnic, the forerunners of Jissen Women's University.
Guided by the conviction that "women would change society and change the world," Shimoda provided her students with knowledge and skills through state-of-the-art academic learning with the aim of giving women the practical capabilities needed to survive in the world. This belief runs through the university and is embodied in the university's philosophy: "developing dignified and refined women capable of standing and working on their own."
The year 2019 will mark 120 years since the university's founding. As we move closer to this milestone, we have adopted a two-campus structure that consists of the Hino campus and the Shibuya campus, which was completed in 2014 with state-of-the-art equipment. The Hino campus has also seen its learning environment upgraded with the addition of a multipurpose third building and improvements to laboratories and training rooms in the main building and elsewhere. Located close to many cultural facilities and a hub for active exchange with other universities and companies, the Shibuya campus is home to the university's Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as Jissen Women's Junior College. The spacious Hino campus offers a range of learning opportunities under the Faculty of Human Life Sciences.
With our tangible infrastructure in place, we are now upgrading our intangible infrastructure—our curriculum—in line with the needs of the times. One example is the active learning method, which has students think and act on their own and provides more in-depth learning through repeated experiences and discoveries. This fosters confidence and the drive to take on challenges, helping students acquire the abilities to achieve future success. We are also revising our core curriculum and have begun offering minors in all faculties. These efforts help students acquire a well-balanced basic academic skillset alongside a rich and advanced expertise.
Since its founding, Jissen Women's University has focused on cultivating intelligent women of good character that are able to make an impact. As society increasingly looks to women to perform in every sphere of life, we aim to prepare these future leaders by developing in them an enterprising spirit and the drive to take action.
All members of the faculty work together to provide meaningful learning and a well-rounded student life. We hope our students will continually ask themselves what they want for their futures as they take advantage of the high-quality environments at our campuses to make great strides in learning and achieving personal growth.