History


Known as the Tokyo Ladie's Debating Society, our club was founded in 1908 under the direction of British scientist Dr. Marie Stopes. In its early years, the club actively promoted debate on numerous subjects ranging from those as seemingly uncontroversial as the selling of milk in glass bottles and whether tomatoes were poisonous to humans to much more volatile topics such as planned parenthood which Dr. Stopes so strongly advocated.
In 1910, just two years after its establishment, this Society became the Tokyo Ladies’ Club. In 1913, it took on the name the Tokyo Women’s Club and later gained affiliation with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1914.

 

Today, although in name we remain the Tokyo Women’s Club (TWC), our functions have expanded beyond those centered on debate. We maintain a strong commitment to organizing activities that are as varied and dynamic as the members themselves. This diversification of the club’s activities is by no means a recent development. Since the 1920's committees on Art, Civics, Drama, Literature, Music, Press Media and Parliamentary Law have been formed to meet the desire of club members to be active in and well-functions such as visiting foreign embassies and attending various exhibits and performances of the arts.

Lectures given by renowned speakers and authorities in their respective fields are not uncommon features on the agenda.

 

As 1993 marked the 85th anniversary of our founding, the year saw the TWC organized a luncheon and ball from which all the proceeds were given to a number of charities including UNICEF. The 90th luncheon was honored with the presence of H.I.H.Princess Takamado and approximately 30 VIPs and Ambassadors' wives. Donations were made to many charities on the occasion.

 

Dialogues and ties over the years with other women's groups include the International Women's Club of Yokohama, the American Women's Club of Shanghai (1938), Kobe Women's Club (1957). In 1969 our club became a member of the Federation of Asian Women's Association and hosted their fifth convention in Odawara in June 1970. Also TWC gained affiliation with The Hague-based "Open Door" Organization, a global network of women's associations.  

 

In 2008 TWC celebrated its 100th birthday and during that centennial year, we remembered all those members who contributed and participated over the years, forming friendships, showing care and understanding which continues into the 21st century.

 

In June 2013, we celebrated the 105th anniversary of our establishment and the Centennial of the creation of the name of the actual The Tokyo Women’s Club.

 

Though the diversity and breadth of the activities sponsored by The Tokyo Wmen's Club may seem a little overwhelming, the objective of The TWC is firmly grounded in what is known as The TWC Concept. The overriding purpose of The TWC is four-fold.

First, our club members are dedicated to advancement of charity activities that provide funds for the donations made to nations and organizations in need of support and immediate help.

Second, The TWC promotes cultural interaction among various embassies in Tokyo by utilizing The TWC's vast informal, as well as professional networks.

Third, The TWC members are also committed to giving its senior members a plenty of opportunities to meet old friends and participate in an international environment.

Finally, The TWC Concept encourages a commitment to assisting new residents of Tokyo in establishing personal and professional relationships.   

 

Today, nearly 150 women are active members of The Tokyo Women's Club. 105 honorary members representing the number of diplomatic missions established in Tokyo are included in our membership.