About Ochanomizu

01.04.2019 Update

Greetings from the President

president sign

Ochanomizu University was founded on November 29, 1875 as Tokyo Women’s Normal School, the first institution of higher education for women in Japan. In the over 143 years since, the university has forged a new path in education for women. Even when it was difficult for women to play a major role in the workforce, many graduates of this university were pursuing careers and became strong performers in a variety of fields, including academic research, education, industry, government and the media. They have continued to earn the deep respect of their peers, and have opened up doors to new opportunities for women in the next generation.
We continue to foster women who hold the future by adopting a broad perspective and great sensitivity, based on the legacy and traditions we have built.

In 2004, all of national universities in Japan were turned into national university corporations independent of the government, and Ochanomizu University adopted the motto “being a place where all women motivated to learn can realize their dream.” To support all women in pursuing their dreams—including women in developing countries who have the desire but not the opportunity to pursue an education—we have provided continuous educational support and research exchange programs for women and children in Asia and Africa, including an educational support program for women in Afghanistan. As of April 1 this year, Ochanomizu University had reached exchange agreements with 75 universities in 26 countries, creating an environment that promotes study and research across borders. Our aim is to have young women develop a deep mutual understanding with peers from diverse cultures who have different values and perspectives, and benefit from one another while pursuing their own growth.

At a time of significant social upheaval and intense challenges, we have built a distinctive educational system and a beneficial place of continuous learning. We combine liberal arts education, global education and leadership education to enable young women to find their own paths and contribute to the happiness of other people.
Over the course of its 143 years of history, Ochanomizu University has offered a broad and diverse academic and research environment, covering the workings and structures of nature and living organisms, the ways that humans live in society and the institutions that support them, the development of science and technologies that support human lifestyles, and the construction of systems and theories. We have trained our talented graduates through these education and research, and they gain broad knowledge, a deep sense of inquisitiveness, a rich imagination, and the sense of commitment as a social member needed to lead Japan and the world into the future.

In FY2016, national universities in Japan began working on its third-period midterm plans and goals. We have taken this opportunity to add another goal to our existing mission of “cultivating global female leaders.” Based on this new goal—“promoting research and education that enable people to remain physically and mentally happy and healthy throughout their lives”—we have established the Human Life Innovation Development Research Organization. This is one of two outstanding research organizations at our university— another is the Research Organization for the Promotion of Global Women’s Leadership that was launched in 2015—and integrates liberal arts and science. It includes the Institute for Human Life Innovation and the Institute for Education and Human Development, and promotes research aimed at solving various problems in our aging society with fewer children being born.

Our new international center designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, was finished in March 2019. Hisao Taki and numerous other distinguished individuals who share Ochanomizu University’s core underlying ideology provided vital support for this project.
Situated next to the university’s main entrance, the Plaza serves as our alumni commons and is becoming a casual gathering place for students, alumni, faculty and staffers—including international students, overseas researchers and younger students—as well as people from the local community. We look forward to seeing their efforts to share and learn about a broad range of cultures, ideas and other vital assets. This new facility will also be a pivotal base for enriching the recurrent education, career enhancement and other continuing improvement programs we have developed over the years.
Finally, in April 2019 we launched Collaborative Course—an innovative project organized with key members of the corporate community.

Ochanomizu University sincerely hopes that all students achieve their own dreams and create prosperous futures for themselves. We also want them to success and give hope and courage to people in their community. As an institution of higher education backed by a legacy of achievement, Ochanomizu University is sure to continue playing a pivotal role in society.

April 1, 2019
Kimiko Murofushi
Ochanomizu University


“Ochanomizu University will support all women, regardless of age or nationality, in protecting their individual dignity and rights, freely developing their unique qualities and capabilities, and pursuing persolearning so as to satisfy their intellectual appetites.”
As a pioneer of women's education in Japan, Ochanomizu University offers programs that will develop women capable of being opinion leaders in politics, economics, academia, culture, and other fields on the international stage.

These programs that of the “21st century Ochanomizu University model” focus on three areas:

  • 1. Development of higher education for women into the future
  • 2. Centralization of research and 21st century liberal arts education
  • 3. Social contribution and international exchange

Cutting-edge research and development based on new ways of thinking is a unique feature of research at Ochanomizu University.

Educational Characteristics

Highly specialized education to develop women leaders

Ochanomizu University‘s undergraduate courses offer highly specialized education in small class sizes. We have in place a free learning environment that protects the individual dignity and rights of women so as to develop women capable of contributing to the realization of a gender-equal society and to the empowerment of women around the world.

Advanced graduate research closely linked to undergraduate courses

Graduate research promotes a variety of projects, the outcomes of which are deeply reflected in undergraduate courses. We pursue evolutions in the university‘s curricula through their link to cutting-edge research in the graduate school.

Promotion of 21st century liberal arts education integrating the humanities and sciences

The globalization of society in the 21st century is giving rise to concurrent trends in knowledge and technology: specialization and diversification. That is, the knowledge that students acquire must be specialized or it will be useless, and at the same time it must be communicable to people with different national and cultural backgrounds.
In the past, the university offered liberal arts as a preliminary step to specialized education. Whereas at present, we are required to foster in students communication and negotiation skills, a cross-disciplinary viewpoint, and the ability to make judgments in response to change so as to support and enable full utilization of highly specialized education.
Ochanomizu University‘s 21st century liberal arts education aims to build on the foundation of knowledge itself, or the general (liberal) skills (arts) that students can use throughout their lifetime.

Launch of a multiple program elective course system in 2011

The new system enables students to freely combine “core programs,” “specialty programs,” “subprograms,” and “interdisciplinary programs” so as to acquire, in addition to the in-depth knowledge required of them in the past, the knowledge and skills suited to their needs.



Tokyo Women's Normal School, Japan‘s first institute of higher education for women and the predecessor of Ochanomizu University, opens in Ochanomizu, Tokyo (now Yushima, Bunkyo-ku)


The school produces its first graduating class of 15 students


School buildings are destroyed by fire during the Great Kanto Earthquake


The school moves into new buildings at the present location (Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku)


Ochanomizu University is established as a women‘s university with a Faculty of Letters, a Faculty of Science and Home Economics


Graduate School of Home Economics (master's program) is established


Graduate School of Humanities and Science (doctoral program) is established


Faculty of Home Economics is reorganized into the Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Sciences.


Master's research courses in humanities, science, and home economics are reorganized into the Graduate School of Humanities and Science (master's program with 6 divisions).


According to the National University Corporation Law, Ochanomizu University becomes a national university corporation.


Strengthening Education and Research through Reorganization of the Graduate School.

For more information, click on Ochanomizu University Digital Archives.

Ochanomizu University Digital Archives

Disclosure of Educational Information

For more information Japanese

Institutional Data

Number of Students

Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate Freshmen Sophomores Juniors Seniors Total
Faculty of Letters and Education 214 216 235 275 940
Faculty of Science 140


140 152 563
Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Sciences 135 131 141 165 572
Total 489 478 516 592 2075

(Numbers include foreign students. As of May 2017)

Graduate Students
Graduate 1st Year 2nd Year 3rd Year Total
Master's Program 253 255 - 508
Doctoral Program 59 74 249 382
Total 312 329 249 890

(Numbers include foreign students. As of May 2017)

Grand Total
Grand Total Number of Students
Grand Total 2965

(Numbers include foreign students. As of May 2017)

Number of Staff

Administrative Staff
Administration Office Number of Staff
Administration Office 105
Faculty Staff
Faculty Staff Number of Staff
Undergraduate Courses 2
Faculty of Core Research 177
Others 92
Educational Staff (Attached Schools) Number of Staff
Kindergarten 10
Elementary School 33
Junior High School 25
Senior High School 24
Izumi Daycare Center 4
Center for Early Childhood
Education and Care

(The Graduate School faculty are also responsible for teaching classes in the Undergraduate Faculties. As of May 2017)

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