About Aichi Shukutoku University
Aichi Shukutoku University was established in 1975, but its parent body the Aichi Shukutoku Gakuen was born in 1905 as Aichi Shukutoku School for Girls. A year after its establishment, it became the first private high school for girls in Aichi Prefecture, Aichi Shukutoku high School for Girls. The new Meiji government emphasized education, and strived to spread education by establishing a compulsory education system to improve the education of its people by establishing junior high schools, high schools and universities.
The education at the time from junior high and beyond, however, was focused almost exclusively on male students. In the first place, the vast majority of regional high schools and universities were for male students, and very few junior schools (present day junior high schools) were available for female students. At the time the school was established, there were only three high schools for girls in Aichi, one run by the prefecture, one run by the city of Nagoya, and one run by the town of Toyohashi.
It was in this environment that the Aichi Shukutoku Private High School for Girls became the first private high school for girls in Aichi prefecture. Its private education was significant and unique in that the school was established on its assertion and purposes that were distinct from the trends for girls in those days.
In a period when gentleness and chastity were thought to be the primary virtues of a woman, the founder of the Aichi Shukutoku Gakuen, Professor Seisaku Kobayashi, said “I do not believe that a woman’s sole virtues are her gentleness and chastity. A woman must have a sense of her own personal identity.” He set “developing human resources to meet our needs 10 or 20 years into the future,” as the educational goals of the institution. He promoted sports in the girls’ school to cultivate women who are healthy physically and mentally rather than ladies brought up in good families.
Such spirit and purpose on which the school was founded manifested in how the school made English and Science compulsory subjects unlike education in other girls’ schools where household arts and sewing were the main subjects, how it made its name Aichi Shukutoku for Sports known throughout Japan, and how it practiced education that was ahead of its times by being one of the first to adopt a European style uniform and introduce school trips. That is how the school made a clear distinction from girls’ school education of the times that was aimed at developing virtuous good wives and wise mothers.