The Leader of Women’s Education

by MoXv on Juin 21, 2017 - 8:04am

Do you like studying? No, I do not. I think studying is difficult and boring. However, decades ago, Japanese women could not study as well as Japanese men because there was sex discrimination in Japan. Then, why can I, a Japanese woman, study now? There was one woman’s effort in the background. Today, I am going to introduce a woman whose name is Umeko Tsuda and let me tell you about how respectable she was.

Umeko Tsuda was born in 1864 and she died in 1929. When she was just six years old, she was sent as a student studying abroad to Europe and the United States by the new government in Meiji era with the Iwakura mission that inspected the Washington, D.C. to improve several Japanese industries. She was the youngest of all the members to go abroad then. She stayed there for eleven years. It is said that when she came back to Japan, she was very confused by the difference between the American culture and Japanese’s. At the same time, she realized that Japanese education for women was inferior to foreign countries. She tried to change Japanese educational systems but it was not easy so she decided to go abroad again to England. She completed the biology course for only a year and after that, she did research in pedagogy. After came back to Japan, she founded her own cram school “Joshi Eigaku Juku” in Japan. It is now called “Tsuda Juku University”. She became a leader of education for Japanese women. It is also said that she had two faces; one is being very strict to her students and the other one is being respectable which is why the students trusted her so much. I think she had a great personality. If she were still alive, I wanted to try her class.

When I was an elementary school student, I found one book about Umeko Tsuda in the school library. I was interested in the stories of historical and influential people, so I happened to read it. I was fascinated by her strength, not power. I was impressed by her life and I respect her so much. “Your strong will to study is more important than your surroundings.” This is one of her famous phrases. As I have mentioned earlier, she studied abroad when she was just six years old. She had no other choice but to live with English and she got over such a difficulty. This is the reason why that phrase has a great power of persuasion. I feel that it is a message for Japanese women. Japanese have a deep prejudice against women since long ago. She taught her students that we could become anything if we aim and make an effort against the prejudice. I think this is the first step of improvement of the social status of Japanese women. This is the reason why I respect her so much.

In conclusion, thanks to her efforts, we, Japanese women, can study equally with men now. The prejudice against women still remains but it has improved. I want to say, ‘thank you’ to her. After graduating from university, I would like to work for an airline industry and I want to play an active part in the work place, so I emulate her and I will start to make my effort to become my dream come true. I hope that more women will be active globally in the future.


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