Tsuda College, occupying a leafy campus in the western suburbs of Tokyo, is a private college where female students are educated in languages and the liberal arts. In one corner of the site, overshadowed by the stately trees that surround it, lies the final resting place of Umeko Tsuda, an early pioneer of women’s education in Japan who founded the college in 1900.
Most Japanese schoolchildren will be familiar with the story of Tsuda, who was dispatched to the U.S. for a decade-long immersion in Western culture at the tender age of six. Less well known are the tales of the other girls who accompanied her on the Iwakura Mission that began in 1871 — a high point in Japan’s early diplomatic forays overseas during the Meiji Era (1868-1912).
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