Transgender Women Accepted Into Japanese Women’s Universities

We’ve translated some Japanese media and social media about recent moves for the Women’s Universities in Japan to welcome transgender women as students.

There are a group of Women’s Universities in Japan that have recently come out to say that they will soon start accepting transgender women. This is, of course, a major change in the country and has been covered in several major news outlets and provoked a lot of discussion, of a more or less civil nature, across social media.

Today we’ve translated some excerpts from Asahi News, The Huffington Post Japan, and a selection of tweets from twitter to get an overview of the coverage.

We present the selections in Japanese, then in English, then sentence by sentence in Japanese and English for those that are interested to get down in the weeds of the language a bit more

トランス女性OK、深化する女子大 課題はハラスメント














Trans women allowed, Women’s Universities Deepen, Harassment Challenge Remains


From this Spring, two public universities, Ochanomizu Women’s University (Tokyo) and Nara Women’s University, have begun accepting transgender students whose sex at time of birth was male but who identify their gender as female.

It is not clear whether any transgender students have yet been admitted.

From next Spring, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University will also begin admitting transgender students.

As women’s universities that accept transgender women increase, so do the voices calling for safeguards for students.

“It’s the Women’s Universities that provide all women wishing to learn a safe place. That does not apply only to women who are listed as such on the official Family Register. This is an extension of the mission of Women’s Universities.”

So spoke Ochanomizu University Vice Head of School Toru Miura in April.

The university announced that they would accept transgender students in July 2018. Since drafting guidelines in April 2019, preparations have been proceeding.

Prior to the changes, voices expressed their unease at how they should interact with the students 

Questions have been raised about how “people that identify as female” should be validated under the new system.

At Ochanomizu, prospective students are asked to submit an application document prior to sitting the entrance exam and, where necessary, are asked to have an interview to confirm status of their gender identity in relation to exams and student life.

There is no necessity for a medical certificate from a doctor to be produced. “Gender identity changes. We now presume that it is versatile.”

室伏学長(お茶の水女子大学) は会見の冒頭で次のように述べた。










As a national university corporate body, this decision was based on our mission of providing a place to all women who have a sincere desire and dream to learn.

We see this decision as part of a movement to create a women’s university and society that embraces diversity

We dream of a society where “diverse women” can participate in a variety of fields and where each person can achieve their own expression of their own unique human abilities, unrestrained by rigid concepts of gender. 

Though we have come a long way in comparison to societies of the distant past, there are still many barriers to women’s fruitful participation in the workforce.

We believe that we must change the status quo by fostering women’s sense of self worth and resolve to contribute to society, so that they can take their place in society to lead happy lives free from discrimination and prejudice.

We believe that it is the freely functioning women’s university that is able to free women from the conceptions of women’s traditional roles and from unconscious bias.

Our university aims to develop all women, regardless of age or nationality, by guaranteeing each and every individual’s dignity and rights, and pushing forward their learning to create people with the ability to freely express their innate abilities.

In this respect, we consider that it naturally flows that women who identify as female, who hold sincere desires to study at a women’s university, should be welcomed and that this should happen as a matter of course within a society that embraces diversity.

Some Twitter Comments



















I find the Trans-haters, who, without being in any way the ones that are personally affected by the admitting of transexual women (which is to say, students), and say things like “It’s the end of Women’s Universities”, just give me the creeps. I find the idea of studying with them a lot more scary than studying with transexual women.



I find that the ones who say that allowing transexual women into women’s universities is a breach of women’s rights are generally those of the intellectual class with no connection with the university whatsoever.



I think that the use of the word “cost” when talking about matters that affect people’s very being is just not on.

When it was reported last year about Ochanomizu University,  I wrote that it is necessary to extend the provision of toilet amenities and I took criticism over the cost that this would entail.

That is not a “cost”. It is a necessity.


To the people who say that it won’t do to have trans women at Ochanomizu because there are men that will make themselves out to be transgender to get access.

If you heard that there was a country where they said “There are people making themselves out to be Japanese citizens that are coming to our country and committing crimes, so we will ban entry to all Japanese Citizens”, would you just say, “yes, that’s fair enough” and accept it.

I would not.

It’s a similar thing.

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What does it mean to be “Ugly” In Japan

What does it mean to be “busu” 「ブス」or “minikui” in Japan?

In a world that worships at the altar of kawaii 「可愛い」, at saucer sized eyes and at double skinned eyelids. What is it like to feel like you don’t live up? And how can you live a life so that it doesn’t overwhelm you.

Twitter writer and Youtuber “Todoron” painfully, graphically and courageously lays bear her experiences of this situation for all to see on Twitter, and later Youtube. Her first tweet was a single Hiragana character. Her third tweet got 150,000 likes and 30,000 retweets. 

She seems to having something that resonates with contemporary online Japanese society. She mixes simple-truth observations of the state of the world, and her own inner state. Topics she tackles include her history of cosmetic surgery, concepts of beauty and mental health.

Today I want to have a look at the language she uses around the issues.


A translation of Todoron's first tweets

Through repeated rounds of cosmetic surgery, you can turn yourself into something that you believe to be beautiful. But turning yourself into something the world believes is beautiful remains impossible to do forever. Beauty is talent. It all depends on whether you are able to bring this beauty out, or you choose to deny it. Even people who show the world that they have achieved beauty through effort are only keeping an appointment with their own natural born talent.

Feelings that only ugly people can understand

・ The fear of the group photo

・ The fear of catching your own image reflecting back at you from panes of glass throughout the city

・ The fear that Snow will not be enough to make you beautiful

・ The feeling of guilt at being attracted to a hot guy

・ The philosophical regret of “Why did I have to be born as myself when I could have just as easily been born as someone like Nozomi Sasaki”


I love girly things like frills and lace. It makes me sad that I am so scared of people denying the femininity of the “me covered in those things” that I act like I don’t even like them in the first place.

People always seem to think that people who go public with their cosmetic surgery say to themselves “Cosmetic surgery is making an effort! Please acknowledge how much work I’ve put in! Tell me I’m beautiful” out of some kind of need for acknowledgment of self or urgent need for recognition. But really, I think that the vast majority of people are actually saying to themselves “If I try and hide the fact I’ve had some work done, people will still talk, so I may as well just be open about it. People can choose not to accept what I’ve done if they like, no one is forcing them to stick around if they don’t want to”.

A translation of Todoron's first Youtube clip


Is it good enough to live life with these kind of ugly feelings?


Pleased to meet you, I’m dodoron this is my first video.


Today, with the scenery between Tokyo and Niigata as my background, I’m going to talk about myself and my experiences as someone who has had cosmetic surgery.


Person who has had cosmetic surgery  


Launching out from Tokyo. This is going to be fun.


I fear I will be talking all about myself, but going out like this is only something I have been able to do since having surgery.


Ugly people aren’t allowed in public.


If you have experience of having your face criticized on a daily basis over a long period of time, that’s how you come to think.






Leaving Niigata. Don’t you love the sound of the train and the shinkansen?


If only there was no glass here to reflect my face everything would be perfect.


I missed breakfast, so I’ve bought a bento.


To digress a moment, beautiful people are great at making like they are pulling out their wallet aren’t they?


I suppose it’s because they are so used to having others pay the bill.


Never mind that, I’ve just realised the wrinkles in my shirt are next level.


I guess this is one of the hallmarks of being ugly. I apologize.


If a beautiful person wears wrinkled clothes they are just a beautiful person in wrinkled clothes. But if an ugly person wears wrinkled clothing, people say “that’s the reason you’re so unattractive”. It makes no sense.


Bon appetite. Looks good.


And, we’re off again. Look at the snow. It’s beautiful!


Before having cosmetic surgery, I was unable to speak freely about beautiful things.


I felt that people would just think that I was an ugly person shooting her mouth off.


Ugly people are often a little twisted I think that it must be the result of experiencing such complex emotions.


Well, time to head for home.


I wasn’t able to shoot in Niigata, as I’d hoped, so I’ll just show you my souvenirs.


Nodo Guro cyatuke






This is for me. This would be the bomb to have as a late night snack.



Am I the only one that gets annoyed at beautiful people trying to make a big thing out of how they love eating the sort of snacks a middle aged man might like. People say “it’s such a lovely contrast”, but let’s face it, who doesn’t like that stuff?


I got these for my family


Bamboo shoot balls



I may be ugly, but I like cute stuff.



And, jazmine tea



Looks a bit dinted but


Time for a pastry. Man, that’s good.


Deliciousness is the greatest sense that people of beauty or ugliness have received equally.


That was good.


I couldn’t see the scenery on the way back because of the rain.


I’ll finish up my video here. How did you like my first post?


If you have any thoughts please let me know in the comments.


Thank you very much.




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Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).


What are the words that killed Hana Kimura?

What happened to Hana Kimura?

Words are knives. On the 23rd of May 2020 we saw that in the tragic death of Hana Kimura, Wrestler and star of reality TV show Terrace House.

So what were the linguistic weapons that killed her? And what are the words that tried to come to her rescue? And how can we dodge the knives when they are thrown at us? Today I would like to tackle these questions by translating and analysing some of the comments made on Japanese social networks before and after her death.

I’ve divided these comments into the supporters of Hana, and the haters of Hana. And her own voice.

I want to start with the famous soccer player Keisuke Honda. He released a long audio commentary on the incident where he shared his own approach to dealing with online bullying. I will come back to the details of exactly what he does at the end, and hopefully that will help anyone that is listening if they ever have to deal with online abuse. First of all let’s look at one of his twitter comments.


Japanese Reading Difficulty

9/12 Could be read by 9th grade level student in Japan


Hana Kimura, Suicide, Online bulllying

Text Type

Social Media Posts


Honda Keisuke

Famouse Japanese soccer player.

Don’t target the weak people.
Even if I say “quit hating online”, online bullying won’t go away. So I’ll just say, go ahead and bully, but target the strong.


Bring your bullying my way, and you can use your platform to troll me to your heart’s content.


You are the most disgusting thing that has ever appeared on Terrace House, no, on Television.
Please just do us a favour and pull your head in.
No one is barracking for you, even as a pro-wrestler.


長与 千種 Chigusa Nagayo
My heart is heaving in pain. 
ありえん ありえん ありえん ありえんぞ、許せない 言葉は時に鋭利過ぎるナイフになって人の心の奥深くを 無残に切り裂き荒らす。
It’s impossible, impossible, impossible. It’s unforgivable. Sometimes words are over-sharp knives that cut cruelly, deep inside a person and sever the heart in two.


If you only saw the face she (Hana) presented, you were seeing a fictitious character. 
She lived without showing her true self, she was a professional.
The Hana that Chigusa Nagayo knew was a pure soul. 


For the first time, watching Terrace House made me sick.

I loved Terrace House until Hana came on. Please leave the show soon. I hate you.

If you were gone, everyone would be so happy. I’m serious, just disappear.





Celebrity and actress Yui Okada

The fact that people don’t realise that words are knives is just tragic. This sort of thing just shouldn’t happen.

Because someone is famous, and you don’t ever have to come face to face with them, a lot of people just think it’s okay to take pot shots.



If you hadn’t gone on Terrace House, about now you would be a low-grade wrestler living a regular, yet peaceful, life.
But because of your personality, you basically have lost all value as a human being. 
Because of that, don’t say things like “I want a boyfriend”. I’m sure you would be prone to domestic violence, so just don’t.
I guess maybe you were raised in a household like that. How you are raised is a scary thing.


メンタリストDaiGo @Mentalist_DaiGo

On hearing of Terrace House Hana Kimura’s death, it made me think, yet again, that entertainment agencies need to step up, lodge information disclosure requests and sue.

アンチに容赦yoshaなど不要。損害賠償だけでなく、勤務先の会社にも内容 証明送りつけて【社会的に抹殺masatsu】すべき。
Haters need no leniency. And it shouldn’t stop at compensation for damages. People need to have their places of work sent evidence of what has transpired, these sort of actions need to be obliterated from society.


In response to Hana’s cat photo post

Are you even being violent towards cats?


Smiley Kikuchi – Commentator

There are people that think that being abused online is “no big thing”.
But what is and is not a big thing isn’t decided by perpetrators, but by those that are perpetrated against.
Saying that pranking around is not deadly does not cut it. 
The people that have used their words as weapons are criminal “armchair murderers” who have stolen a life. Please just stop


Kazuya – Youtuber & Commentator

There are people that think that being abused online is “no big thing”.
But what is and is not a big thing isn’t decided by perpetrators, but by those that are perpetrated against.
Saying that pranking around is not deadly does not cut it. 
The people that have used their words as weapons are criminal “armchair murderers” who have stolen a life. Please just stop


Katsube Genki – Social Commentator

Since Hana Kimura’s death famous people have been calling for something to be done about online bullying.
That has led to the bullies in turn quickly abusing the people that are calling out the abuse. 
That is how the bullies try to bring down the celebrities. They really are no better than garbage.

Hana's own comments

Everyday, nearly 100 frank opinions.
The reason they cut me up is that I was unable to deny what they were saying. 
死ね、気持ち悪い、消えろ、今まで ずっと私が1番私に思ってました。
“Drop dead”, “you make sick”, “disappear”. These are all words I have told myself, more than anyone else. 
Mother, thanks for bringing me into this world.
In my life, all I wanted was to feel loved.
Thanks to everyone who has been in my corner.

大好きです。 弱い私でごめんなさい
I love you. Sorry for being weak little me.



I love you. Have fun, and live long. I’m sorry.

Honda Keisuke's comments

Renowned soccer player Keisuke Honda released an auditory commentary on his Nowvoice platform, where he talked about approaches to online bullying and his own approach to dealing with haters. He has some interesting ideas that are hopefully useful to many people.


The violence of language can cause more damage than real violence.
I, myself, have been the subject of online abuse. To say that it doesn’t phase me would be a lie.
But in my case, I guess you could say I’m used to it. It’s even gotten to the point where you could say that online abuse has become a source of energy for me.
I might be saying something strange here, and I really do think the world would be a better place without the bullies, and I do think that bullying shouldn’t happen,
but I feel like those people have actually become a kind of motivation for me. Maybe it’s some kind of “rebellious spirit” kind of thing…but, in that way, I’m thankful to them.

He goes on to talk about how the bullies may have been raised in difficult circumstances themselves, and be projecting their own pain. He tries to identify or humanise them.
He talks about how he has received death threats and all sorts of abuse, but is still alive and well. He goes as far as saying he wants to accept their abuse as a way of helping them heal.
He says he was blessed with a supporting upbringing, but not everyone is like that. As a result
He says people are fundamentally drawn to being mean to each other, and that realistically there is no way to eradicate this human trait.
His answer, then, for himself, is to accept the hatred, and use it like garbage that you turn into rocket fuel. Burn it up, harness its energy. I think that is a really important message for anyone that anyone who is a creator, wants to take part in the arena of ideas, who wants to change the world in any way, or anyone that just has a voice.

Japanoscope is a registered affiliate with several online shops and may receive a commission when you click on some of the links within content.

Who is behind this site?

I’m Peter Joseph Head. I lived in Japan for four years as a student at Kyoto City University of the Arts and on working holiday. I have toured the country six times playing music and speak Japanese (JLPT N1).