Women’s History Month Lecture, Tsuda Umeko: Philadelphia to Japan, Pioneering Women’s Education

Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 8 pm EST/Thursday, March 18, 2021, 9 am JST
$15/ $10 for JASGP Members

For Women’s History Month, JASGP presents “Tsuda Umeko: Philadelphia to Japan, Pioneering Women’s Education” with Prof. Masako Iino, former President and Professor Emeritus of Tsuda University, Tokyo and Dr. Linda H. Chance, Professor of East Asian Studies at University of Pennsylvania.

Tsuda Umeko (1864–1929) was born in Japan, raised in the US from the age of 6 to 18. Umeko was volunteered by her father, Sen, as one of five women members of the Iwakura mission. After returning to Japan in 1882, she encountered severe restrictions on young women’s education in Meiji period Japan. Umeko returned to the US to study at Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia from 1889 to 1892, majoring in biology and education. During this time, Umeko made numerous public speeches about women’s education in Japan, and raised funds to establish a scholarship for Japanese women to study abroad. Eight years after returning to Japan, in 1900, Umeko founded an English language school that became Tsuda University after the Second World War.

Today, Tsuda University is one of the most prominent Universities in Japan, and Tsuda Umeko is known for improving the social status of women with impact that extends into the present era.

This program is supported by the Japan Currents program at National Association of Japan-America Societies, funded by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC.



Speaker Biographies:

Masako Iino
Former President and Professor Emeritus of Tsuda University, Tokyo

Professor Masako Iino has a BA from Tsuda University and MA in American history from Syracuse University, where she was a Fulbright scholar. She has taught American history, U.S.-Japan relations, and immigration studies at Tsuda University for many years. She also taught at McGill University and Acadia University and was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. Her numerous publications include Another History of US-Japan Relations: Japanese Americans Swayed by the Cooperation and the Disputes between the Two Nations (Yuhikaku 2000), People Who Supported Umeko Tsuda (co-editor and author) (Yuhikaku, 2000), Searching Ethnic America: Multiple Approaches to “E Pluribus Unum” (editor) (Sairyu-sha, 2015), and Ethnic America (co-author) (Yuhikaku, 1984, 2017).

Dr. Linda H. Chance
Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Chance’s main field is prose of medieval Japan, particularly the random essay form (zuihitsu). She is interested in how texts come to be read as they are, which I approach through commentarial and reception histories, as well as genre study. The influences of Buddhist thought, gender, the various types of writing practiced in Japan, and musical modes of transmission guide hery long-term research agenda. She co-edited, with Tetsuko Toda, Phila-Nipponica: An Historic Guide to Philadelphia and Japan (Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, 2015). She is also co-editing a forthcoming volume on Japan and Philadelphia’s Quaker connections, which includes Tsuda Umeko’s education at Bryn Mawr College.

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