In Pursuit of "Whatever Things are True"
- the Spirit of Tokyo Woman's Christian University
Tokyo Woman's Christian University was established in 1918 as a result of the generous and devoted work of a group of North American Christians and many other committed people in Japan and elsewhere, as an institute of higher education for women, with Nitobe Inazo as its first president. Until this time, higher education had not been readily available to women anywhere in Japan.
In 2018, we will celebrate the university's centenary, and during these first hundred years of its history the position of women in society has witnessed many changes. In accord with these changes, while still faithful to its mission to provide a form of higher education for women based on Christian principles, the university has evolved in terms of the content of the education it offers. On the one hand, it remains faithful to the spirit in which it was founded, as symbolized by the Biblical words, "Whatever things are true". On the other hand, it has come to represent what a university should be, a place of enlightened scholarship, where every individual has the opportunity to pursue the quest for "Whatever things are true".
Our first president, Nitobe Inazo, stated that liberal arts education can "set people's minds free and liberate them". In other words, by delving into a topic of interest, and endeavoring to "understand" it deeply, people's minds can be freed of predetermined ideas, and new discoveries and possibilities can be encountered. I myself believe that it is of great importance to foster a positive and independent desire to "understand", and to help to create the kind of women who will their whole lives aspire to the pursuit of "Whatever things are true" and play a constructive role in shaping society.
I am certain that after our students graduate and go out into our ever globalizing and complex world, the liberal arts education which they have received will prove to have prepared them well with the human qualities necessary for creating a worthwhile future.
Shoko Ono, President