St Hilda's College
College news

Umeka Tsuda

3 July 2024

Tsuda Umeko. 19th century Japan.

Today, Japan is introducing new banknotes featuring what is claimed to be the world's first use of advanced holography, which makes the portraits of historic figures appear to rotate in 3D as an anti-counterfeit measure.
This marks the first redesign in 20 years for the 10,000 yen, 5,000 yen, and 1,000 yen notes. The new notes will have larger face value numbers to ensure they are easily recognisable to people of all ages and nationalities. The notes also include tactile features to help visually impaired individuals identify them by touch.

The new 5,000 yen note features Educator Umeko Tsuda (1864-1929) on the front and wisteria flowers (a traditional symbol of Japan) on the back. Umeko Tsuda championed women's status in society and founded Tsuda University, a private women's university based at Kodaira, Tokyo. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious higher educational institutions for women in Japan, contributing to the advancement of women in society for more than a century.

There is a special connection with St Hilda’s College, as Umeko Tsuda studied at here as a visiting student. The ties with Tsuda university have continued with Vice President Hayakawa Atsuko who also studied at St. Hilda's as a visiting graduate student taught by Dr.Lyndall Gordon, and as a visiting scholar from 2010-2011. In collaboration with Bronwyn Travers, a former Development Director and Supernumerary Fellow at St Hilda's, a plum (ume in Japanese) tree was planted in the Umeko Memorial Garden on St Hilda's grounds.

By the end of March next year, approximately 7.5 billion new banknotes will have been printed.