Toyo Gakuen University began as the Toyo Women's Dental College in 1926, founded on "a philosophy of developing self-reliant women." After World War II, the college was reborn as the Toyo Women's College, a junior college with the goal of "developing self-reliant women, with a focus on liberal arts, English language skills, and international awareness.” In 1992, building on the foundations of history and tradition of the two predecessor institutions, the four-year Toyo Gakuen University was established to meet the needs of modern society. At present, there are academic programs offered by the Faculty of Global Communications, Faculty of Human Sciences, Faculty of Business Administration, and a Graduate School of Business Administration.
Today's world is becoming borderless, and there is no end in sight for the accelerating momentum of globalization. But what is globalization, really? I think it is the ability to consider issues on a worldwide scale, beyond the limits of national borders, and not just thinking about yourself or your own country. I believe that the most important thing is to have a "global mind", the receptiveness to understand and accept the differences between people, countries and cultures. By developing such a perspective, it becomes possible to see the world with a comprehensive view. In some countries the culture and civilization has evolved, and in some countries there is no gas or running water. Shouldn't true globalization mean eliminating this kind of gap? A professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) quit his job and started a research facility, where he developed a $100 computer so that knowledge can reach the isolated areas without electricity or gas supplies. His fully-equipped PC actually delivers education to people living in places where there is little access to information. This way of thinking, the desire to share education and civilization with all the people on earth, seems to truly embody the global mind.
At this university, all students are encouraged to develop a global mind, regardless of their area of study. As the world becomes more urbanized and IT-connected, I would like to ask each of you to stop for a moment and think about what is most important, as a human being. It is my hope that you will learn both the technology and sense needed to succeed in the world, while retaining the Japanese spirit of omotenashi hospitality and a firm belief in mutual cooperation, to become people who actively contribute throughout the world.
Kisako Harada received her master's degree from the Graduate School of Arts and of Meiji University. She served as president of Toyo Women's College, and as Vice-president of Toyo Gakuen University before taking on her current role in 2014. She is affiliated with the Modern Theater Research Association, the English Literary Society of Japan. Her areas of expertise include British and American theater.