Japan

Organized Panel Session

3 - Meeting the Challenge: Quaker Educator Tomiyama Toki and the Friends Girls School, Tokyo, 1916-1949

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Park Tower 8216, Lobby Level

This paper analyzes the life and career of Tomiyama (nee Iwasawa) Toki (b. 1885), Quaker educator and the first woman principal of the Friends' Girls' School, founded in Tokyo by Friends missionaries in 1887.  Though overlooked by scholars, existing archival records reveal an impressive legacy.  She entered the School at age 14 in 1900, continued at the recently founded Japan Women's College, and returned to the School as a teacher in 1910.  She next pursued higher education in the United States,  After a senior high school year at Westtown, a private coed Quaker school, she entered Columbia University, becoming in 1916 the first Japanese woman to earn a master's degree at Teachers'College.  Returning to Japan to resume teaching, she married a Japanese businessman who had a degree from an American university.  As principal of the Friends' School from 1926 to 1949, Tomiyama led the students and teachers through the Great Depression, Asia-Pacific War,and early Allied Occupation.  Under her leadership and with support from American Friends, the School (her home too), totally destroyed by the fire bomb raids of 1945, re-emerged and expanded in size, students, and reputation.  Tomiyama's long-time personal and professional relationship with her colleague, Quaker missionary-teacher Esther Rhoads, presents a space in which to interrogate theories of Orientalism and Occidentalism. 

Marlene Mayo

University of Maryland, Maryland

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3 - Meeting the Challenge: Quaker Educator Tomiyama Toki and the Friends Girls School, Tokyo, 1916-1949



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