Women of the future should live with a mission.
Mission is to use your life.
Use your life by yourself.
-Yajima Kajiko(矢島 楫子)
note:In this Japanese name, the surname is Yajima.
In 1833, at the end of the samurai period, Yajima Kajiko was born in Kumamoto Prefecture Japan. The status of women at that time was so low that they could not even use the same wash tub to wash their clothes.
Her samurai husband, whom she married when she was 25 years old, was a drunkard who threw a sword at the child she was holding. Feeling that her family was in danger of being violated, Kajiko ran away from home with her children and slapped a letter of separation on them.
After her divorce, Kajiko became a teacher at a primary school in Tokyo. She met an American missionary woman named Mrs. Maria T. Pitcher True [1840-1896]. Kajiko was offered the job of headmistress of a girls’ school. She became the first principal of Joshigakuin, which still exists today. There, Kajiko taught the students to “govern themselves” and abolished all school rules.
She advocated women’s suffrage, monogamy, abolition of prostitution, and prohibition of alcohol. Kajiko was involved in many activities and at the age of 90 attended a world conference in the U.S. where he strongly advocated for peace.
The life of Yajima Kajiko, who devoted her life to the liberation of women and the education of women in a Japanese society where people did not respect women as human beings.
reference: “Yajima Kajiko” (en.wikipedia)
Are you living with a mission?
Why Yajima Kajiko now?
In Japan, where contempt for women still persists
What the movie “If You Can’t Be Strong, Be a Hero” tells us.
Yajima Kajiko, a pioneer of the women’s liberation movement, was born in the age of the samurai and lived during the period of Japan’s modernization.
Based on the book “If You Can’t Be Strong, Be a Hero” by Ayako Miura. The film is directed by 90-year-old Yamada Hisako, the oldest female director in Japan.
Kajiko, played by Takako Tokiwa in the lead role, created Jogakuin (Women’s Academy) and Kyofu-kai (Woman’s Christian Union), and left behind many achievements, including monogamy, women’s suffrage, prohibition of alcohol, abolition of prostitution, and participation in disarmament conferences in the United States. The author, Ayako Miura, once said, “If I had known Yajima Kajiko earlier, my life would have been very different.
Director Yamada has made films about women active in Japan at the dawn of the modern era, such as “Piano of Angels” starring Takako Tokiwa, which portrayed Fudeko Ishii, a pioneer in the education of mentally handicapped children, and “A Grain of Wheat” starring Mayumi Wakamura, which depicted the life of Japan’s first female doctor, Ginko Ogino.
This film is based on the life of Yajima Kajiko, who dedicated herself to the women’s liberation movement, with a message for all women living today. The screening campaign is still ongoing throughout the country starting in February 2022.