About Us

The Association was first proposed early 1956 by Madam Fukiko Nishi, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador at the time and launched in October that year as ‘The Japanese Women’s Association in London’. This was in collaboration with Teruko Howard, who had lived in England since 1936, and Hanako Watanabe, who had wide experience of international conferences.

The purpose of the Association was to contribute to positive Anglo-Japanese relations through the interchange of national cultures. This was especially important because after the Second World War feelings toward Japan were not particularly favourable.

Since then, the Association led by successive wives of British Ambassadors has organised a wide range of cultural activities. Following societal changes, the purpose and activities of the Association have adapted to meet changing needs, and varied accordingly. In March 1986, the Association was accepted by the English Charity Commission as an officially recognised charity organisation with the purpose of promoting education, renamed as ‘The Japanese Women’s Association in Great Britain’.

The purpose and intention of the Association is:

1. To understand the culture and tradition of both English and Japanese countries by organising lectures, outings, study groups and by publishing bulletins both for members, and for the general public.

2. To publish the ‘Handbook for Living in London’, which gives a wide range of information to help newcomers to England.

Teruko Howard provided significant support to the Association up until her death at the age of 102 in June 2008. The decision was made to use her donation to benefit the Association by establishing a website in commemoration of the Association’s 60th anniversary in 2016.