Document 13: "Tokyo fujin kyofukai dai-enzetsu [Tokyo WCTU Great Public Speeches]," Jogaku zasshi 55 (12 March 1887): 98-99. Translated by Rumi Yasutake.


   During the first days of the Tokyo WCTU, its activities consisted mainly of holding regular meetings for its members and large meetings open to the public. The following is a report that appeared in Jogaku zasshi about the Tokyo WCTU's first great public meeting held 5 March 1887. Importantly, although Tokyo WCTU president Kajiko Yajima presided over the meeting, all three speakers were men, and the meeting was open to both men and women. Due to unexpected popularity, a number of people were turned away from the meeting site. At this successful meeting, however, members of the newly-organized WCTU were passive recipients of Japanese churchmen's preaching on women's roles in social reform movements.

Japanese-language original

[p. 98]

   As having advertised in various newspapers and magazines for some time, the Tokyo WCTU's Great Public Speech meeting was held on March 5th at Kosei Hall. It was well prepared, and flowers on both sides of the podium illuminated the excellence in the conduct of a woman's association. At one o'clock in the afternoon, the time for opening of the hall, audiences had already crowded the hall, and there was no room left for further seating near two o'clock. Thus, the gates to the hall were closed with a notice. However, about fifty to sixty people, who had already entered the gates, remained standing still in the area between the gates and the hall entrance. Some of them, who had tickets, struck on the door to the hall and yelled why they were not allowed to be in. Hearing their voices, members of the audience in the hall were finally asked to make room, and the hall entrance was opened to let only these fifty to sixty people enter. There were a number of people who came to the hall but were turned away. When the time came, president [Mrs.] Yajima went up to the podium and presided. Rev. Motoichiro Ogimi gave prayers, and a hymn was played. After that, speeches were made by Mr. Takakichi Matsuyama (Basis of Woman's Various Works); Mr. Kajinosuke Ibuka (Christianity and Woman's Status), and Mr. Naoomi Tamura (Responsibility of the Tokyo WCTU). Although Mr. Danjo Ebina was scheduled to give his speech, he could not come due to some urgent business. More than half of the audience was female. About two thirds

[p. 99]

of them appeared to be female students. Males in the audience also carefully and quietly listened to the speeches. Everything went well. These men seemed to be impressed especially to learn that everything had been prepared by women who did not have much experience in doing such proceedings.

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