Japan Women's University, A Place for Molding Future Women Leaders

Japan Women's University has a hundred years worth of experience in teaching students not just mere lessons but also the ways of the world. Learn more and understand what makes this university different; better yet still join the century-old movement in nurturing people today to become the women leaders of tomorrow.

History and background of Japan's Women's University 

Founding and Brief History

In the first half of the 1890s, Nizo Naruse was studying in the United States during an era where both the development of universities and education was on the rise in The Land of The Rising Sun. At the same time, Japan’s presence in the international stage was becoming manifest. The idea of ​​"giving girls opportunities for higher education" was also being espoused and had been a long time practice already in Western countries. The founder envisioned a school that would integrate Western education but still adapted to the culture of the country. Thus, it took its first name, “Japan Women’s College," a pioneer in promoting higher education for Japan’s womenfolk. It was also unique that it educated women as “persons” rather than based on their genders and its perceived limitations thereby giving a sense of “equality” affording their status in modern society. 

In 1901, it began operations with only three faculties: Home Economics, Japanese Literature, and English Literature. Five years later, the Faculty of Education also became focused on science courses. In 1930, A land approximately 100,000 tsubos (around 330578 square meters) was purchased for its final location in Nishi-Ikuta, Kawasaki City where further growth and development occurred till it was halted by World War II. It was in 1948 after its resumption when it transitioned to its modern name of “Japan Women’s University” and has since then continued to grow.

It is now the oldest and largest private university for women with two campuses, the Mejiro and the Nishi-Ikuta Campuses.

Figures, Rankings, Achievements and Alumni

In 2015, there were more than six thousand Undergraduate students and 306 Graduate students, along with 1728 faculty members.

※Official Website of Japan Women's University, Data & Information, Number of Students (As of May 1, 2015) P. 1-2

Despite the passing of the years, the school has managed to hold on to its key principles and values that began in its conception and its realization. This has spanned more than a century, and an example of just how solid the foundations laid down by the founder and benefactor were.

Employment Career status is tracked accordingly, and this provides a case study with regards to the progress of the former students of the school.

The institution also is proud to have improved its rank from 141-150 to 121-130 now. It has kept on fastidiously to keep up with other fast-emerging institutions while still retaining its roots amidst the progress. This means the balance was kept even as the standards are raised while keeping the ideals still brightly guiding the students and educators of JWU.

The students, faculty members, and Alumni also kept to a steady phase of proving themselves worthy of various civic, social, and academic awards, and these are duly recorded. One of the most recent ones of these is Prof. Yoko Fujii from the Department of English Literature, Faculty of Letters who received the 19th Tokugawa Muneken Award of the Japanese Society for Social Linguistics.

Notable alumni of JWU include Oku-Mumeo, a former politician and champion of Women's rights who was awarded the Order of the Crown and gained respect as an honorary citizen of Fukui. Kazuyo Sejima, an architect, is a multi awardee in her field and includes the Pritzker Prize and the Yoshioka prize amongst many others under her belt. She is a professor at the Vienna University of Applied Arts, a professor at the Milan Institute of Technology, a visiting professor at Osaka University of the Arts, and still a visiting professor to her Alma Mater, Japan Women's University. They are just a couple of the prominent people who gave JWU honor and pride.

Ways of Teaching 

Faculties and Graduate Schools 

In the Undergraduate division, there are four faculties with their respective number of departments. In the Graduate division, there are five graduate schools, each with their respective number of majors. In total, there are 18 majors in the Graduate school division.

If you study at JWU, the distinct advantage is that you will be tailored to find what you can be best at, which will also bring out your interests and passions. This will make the learning process more adapted to your personality and needs, thereby molding you well to your future profession towards excellence and meeting the criteria of a global leader. Under JWU's "Characteristics of learning," you can get in touch with an education that not only teaches but realizes your personality and makes it shine as well.

They offer the Small Group Education, the Thesis Graduation Research, curriculums that satisfy curiosity and ambition, Special Liberal Arts Lectures, Global Human Resource development and Exchange with f-campus and other universities. The University has credit transfer systems with nearby Gakushuin University, Gakushuin Women's University, Rikkyo University, and Waseda University, and has a system that allows students to take classes on the campuses of each university. This system is called f-Campus (five university credit system), but you can select the desired course from the courses offered by the five universities.

Campus Life, Scholarships, and Values

The Campus for Learning 

Japan Women's University has gained its status as conducive to learning as the calm and serene greeneries that surrounds both the original complex and the Mejiro campus in the city offer a place to renew and reinvigorate amidst. College life is more than learning and joining clubs, extracurricular activities and social cooperation, contribution, and volunteerism for the greater good are encouraged. There are support groups such as the Student Section and the Career Support Section together with consultations and support system for students to study without worries and would be helpful in availing scholarships or housing.

Motto, Philosophy, and Sayings 

The belief of the founder that makes it the guiding principle even way back then is "Educate girls first as humans, secondly as women, and thirdly as citizens. Do not mistake this order". The school is all about placing education based on gender equality even way back then. There is also his powerful message to "Improve one's personality, find a mission, and move forward" which has become its philosophy to nurture both thinking and practical skills so women can make an impact on society. These are only a few of the guiding words that educators and students alike integrate into themselves.

How to Enroll at Japan Women's University

The three programs that are available for admission of foreign students are Regular Study program, Short-Term Study program, and Exchange Program.

Admission information in simple steps: 

  1. Fill up the online Application Form at the University's official website

  2. Pay in full the entrance examination fees

  3. Mail the required documents

  4. Take the entrance examination and wait for the results posted on the website under inquiry service portal accessible from mobile phones, PCs, and smartphones

For those who wish to participate Exchange Program from corporative universities: Twelve years of formal education abroad is required.

International Exchange: They accept some exchange students from institutions with agreements with their exchange programs.

Short-Term Study Program: You can still apply even though you are currently enrolled in the institutions without the exchange program agreement with the University.


Japan Women’s University is a school for female students both local and foreign aspiring to explore what Japan has to offer in terms of education for a brighter future. It is the pioneer to this ideal and has grown through the years and kept up to international demands in terms of the professional roles women will take. Their main ethos, motivated primarily by the belief of its founder to give due equality to women on the basis of their being “persons,” ensures that the chances they afford to the students who will graduate will give them a good chance to be leaders in their fields of endeavors not only in Japan but around the world.

(※) Japan Women's University

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