Institute for Comparative Studies of Culture
Tokyo Woman's Christian University


2-6-1 Zempukuji, Suginami-ku,
Tokyo 167-8585, Japan

Use Guidance

Permission for any use of the pages and materials of this website should be requested to the Institute for Comparative Studies of Culture, TWCU (Fax: 813-5382-6506).

The Institute for Comparative Studies of Culture was founded in 1954 with the help of a subsidy from the Harvard-Yenching Institute. Initially, it was devoted primarily to comparative studies of cultural interchange between nations of the world, especially those of Asia.

Since 1990, however, based on the University's basic mission of providing a solid Christian education in the liberal arts, the Institute has expanded its scope into comparative studies of culture in the fields of the humanities, sociology and natural science, and studies and collection of historical materials of Christianity and Christian culture in Japan. The Institute also seeks to contribute to domestic and international cultural interchange.


Individual and joint research are done voluntarily by teachers of the University and or are initiated by the Institute.


The collection of over 20,000 items features Christian literature from the Meiji period; books related to modern Japanese literature, mainly collections of poems; dictionaries from the period when Dutch and English studies began in Japan; and literature written in Western languages related to Japan and East Asian studies. A collection catalog has been published categorizing these books by theme.

In addition, the Institute holds one of the most prominent collections of “chirimen” crepe paper books in Japan published in the Meiji and Taisho periods. The crepe paper book collection can be accessed in the digital archive.


An integrated course taught by several lecturers on topics related to comparative studies of culture is offered in the college every year with some places open to the public. Students who would like to further increase their knowledge of comparative studies of culture may also take it as a minor.

Cultural Exchange

Several foreign visiting researchers are invited every year under the Visiting Fellow and Visiting Scholar Programs.


Lectures and symposia open to the public are given from time to time in addition to lecture meetings and seminars intended chiefly for students.


The studies and events are printed in various forms. The Institute has two periodicals: 

  • 1. Kiyô(Annals)
  • 2. Hikaku Bunka

Historical Documents

The Institute's historical documents include several special collections:

  • 1. Uemura Memorial Saba Collection
  • 2. Sumiya Collection
  • 3. Kimura Collection
  • 4. Noguchi Collection
  • 5. Aoyama Nao Collection