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History

The University of the Sacred Heart was established in 1948 as one of the first women’s universities in Japan under post-war educational guidelines. The Society of the Sacred Heart, the religious congregation devoted to education and our founding body, saw its inception led by the religious, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, in Paris, France, in 1800. In 1801, the following year, the first school of the Sacred Heart was founded in Amiens, France.

The founder’s progressive vision of female education has been reaffirmed in response to social changes and needs and spread to 150 Sacred Heart schools in 32 countries; Our sister schools continue to foster a close relationship.

In 1908, the first school of the Sacred Heart opened its doors in Japan, and the Sacred Heart Professional Training College was established in 1916, as the predecessor of the University of the Sacred Heart. In April 1948, the University of the Sacred Heart was founded and became one of the first women’s universities under the new guidelines and the only Catholic university for women. Although we started in the post-war period under difficult circumstances, our education and curriculum, modelled on those of liberal arts colleges in the U.S., were groundbreaking.

In 1951, the first graduation ceremony was held. On this occasion, the then-Prime Minister, Shigeru Yoshida, delivered a congratulatory address. The alumnae include Sadako Ogata, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Atsuko Suga, the scholar of Italian literature, and Kazuko Watanabe, the former president of Notre Dame Seishin University. The University has made steady progress by responding to the students’ enthusiasm and needs in each period of time such as the extension of departments and establishment of the first graduate school by a women’s university.

  1. 1800The Society of the Sacred Heart is established in Paris, France.
  2. 1801
    The first convent school of the Society is established in Amiens, France.
    The first convent school
    The first convent school
  3. 1916
    Sacred Heart Koto Senmon School is established in Shirokane (Sankou- chou) Minato-ku Tokyo, Japan.
    Sacred Heart koto Senmon School
    Sacred Heart koto Senmon School
  4. 1948
    University of the Sacred Heart is established in Hiroo Shibuya-ku Tokyo, Japan. Faculty of Liberal Arts included Departments of Foreign Languages & Literature, National Language & Literature, History & Social Sciences, Philosophy.
    Mother Elizabeth Britt is inaugurated as the 1st President of the University of the Sacred Heart.
    The main gate
  5. 1952
    A Graduate School is established offering Master of Arts degrees.
    The first graduation ceremony
    The first graduation ceremony
  6. 197325th anniversary ceremony
  7. 2014
    Majors are reorganized into Departments of History, Human Relations, International Studies, and Psychology.
    Marian Hall
    Marian Hall

Since 2014, the University now offers students more independent and creative fields of learning. In 2017, on the occasion of the opening of Building No.4 and the Sacred Heart Global Plaza, the Sacred Heart Institute for Sustainable Futures was established. The University continues its constant advance toward further developments.