Tamaki Uemura (1915)

Tamaki Uemura (1915)

Miss Tamaki Uemura attended Wellesley College from 1911-1915 after receiving the Helen Gould Scholarship for four years of study. She was the first Japanese citizen (male or female) to come from Japan to the US after World War II. She was the "big sister" at Wellesley to famous First Lady of the Republic of China, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, or Soong Mei-ling.

Studies at Wellesley: Theology

Other Institutions Attended: Attended Joshigakuin in Tokyo (Women's Graduate School) before Wellesley, Edinburgh University


After Wellesley...

  • Recipient of a Japanese decoration, the Second Class of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, in 1965 for her contributions as a public servant and her work as one of Japan's most prominent Christian leaders
  • Active in a variety of civic interests:
    • Member of Japan National Public Safety Commision
    • Director of Japanese YWCA
    • Vice-director of the International YWCA
    • Member of World Federation Alliance
  • Invited by the American Presbyterian Church Association to visit the US in April 1946, and was the first Japanese visitor to the US following the war
  • ​Upon returning to Japan, presented a Bible (a gift of the National Council of Presbyterian Churches in America) to the Empress of Japan in June of 1947; invited to teach the Bible to the 3 Imperial Daughters and later the Empress Magako herself for 4 years until 1951
  • ​First female minister to be ordained in Japan, founded Kashiwagi Church in Tokyo, one of Japan’s most forthright Christian leaders
  • Married to Mr. Kawado with one daughter (Machi Kawado)

Uemura passed away in 1982.