The women's suffrage movement in Japan emerged during
pre-war days,centering on the Women's Suffrage League, and voices
were heard to build a "women's center" as a homebase for
the movement. It was not until in 1946,however, that the plan was
realized. The right to vote and be elected was conferred upon Japanese
women in 1945, when the war ended. To commemorate this historic
event, a modest wooden "women's center" was built in the
following year, 1946, where the Fusen Kaikan (Women's Suffrage Center)
now stands, thanks to the appeal of Fusae lchikawa, a leader of
the women's suffrage movement.
Since then, the Women's Suffrage Center has acted
as a locus for liberated Japanese women to engage in various activities
and movements so as to make full use of their voting rights. Taking
a politically neutral stand, these activities become instrumental
in proposing and developing many projects on various scales.
Through the years, as the structure and its facilities
deteriorated, the building was remodelled into an extended ferro-concrete
one (826 square meters) in 1962 . From this time, it has been developing
as a pioneering,distinctive private women's center, providing women
with political education, research and publications, international
exchanges and an information library.
Fusae lchikawa, founder of the Fusen Kaikan, died
in 1981 at the age of 87. In 1983, the Fusen Kaikan was renewed,
as a tribute to her life and activities, into extended space (80
square meters) with a memorial exhibition room. This was designed
to inform later generations of the history of the women's suffrage
movement in Japan and has received many domestic and foreign visitors.
The name of the organization, "Fusen Kaikan"
was changed to "The Fusae lchikawa Memorial Association," but
the building itself retains its former name of "Fusen Kaikan."