Leadership and Empowerment

Tsuda Umeko, 1864-1929

Display No. 93

Tsuda Umeko was a Japanese pioneer in women’s education. She spent 12 years abroad in the USA and Europe, studying subjects including languages, mathematics, science, and music. On her return to Japan she became a passionate campaigner for women’s education. She visited Nightingale in England in 1898 to discuss “the future prospects of our women”.

Nightingale sympathised with the limited opportunities for Japanese women, saying English women had faced similar restrictions. Two years later Umeko founded Japan’s first university for women. A portrait of Tsuda Umeko will feature on the new Japanese 5,000-yen banknote, due to be released in 2024, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to women’s education.

Kyodo News/ Getty Images. 

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Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!