Japan

Girl Scouts of Japan

Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting introduced: 1919 - Founder Member of WAGGGS
Number of Girl Guides/Girl Scouts: 49447 (01/01/2006)
Status: Full Member
Admits boys: No

WAGGGS Region:

Asia Pacific

Contact us

President
1-40-3 Nishihara
Shibuya-Ku
TOKYO 151-0066

Telephone: 00 81334600701
Fax: 00 81334608383
Email: gsj@girlscout.or.jp
Website: www.girlscout.or.jp

Promise:

For Brownie, Junior, Senior, Ranger Girl Scouts and Adult Members

I promise to:

Do my duty to God (Buddha);
Be responsible for my community,
My country and the world;
Try to be helpful to other people;
and Live by the Girl Scout Law.


For Tenderfoot Girl Scouts
I am a Girl Scout.
I look and listen carefully, and
Be friendly to everyone.

Yakusoku (Promise) for Brownie, Junior, Senior, Ranger Girl Scouts and Adult Members

Watakushi wa:
Kami(Hotoke) ni taisuru tsutome wo okonai;
Chiiki to kuni to sekai eno sekinin wo hatashi;
Hito ni yakudatsu koto wo kokorogake;
Gaaru skauto no okite wo mamarimasu.

Yakusoku(Promise) for Tenderfoot Girl Scouts

Watakushi wa Gaaru Sukauto desu.
Watakushi wa yoku mite yoku kikimasu.
Soshite minna to nakayoku shimasu.

Law:

For Brownie Girl Scouts

  1. I am cheerful and courageous at all times.
  2. I respect all living things.
  3. I am a friend to all, and a sister to every Girl Scout.

For Junior, Senior, Ranger Girl Scouts and adult members

  1. I am cheerful and courageous at all times.
  2. I respect all living things.
  3. I am a friend to all, and a sister to every Girl Scout.
  4. I am courteous.
  5. I use time and resources wisely.
  6. I think and act on my own.
  7. I am responsible for what I say and do.
  8. I try to be sincere.

Motto:

For Brownie, Junior, Senior, Ranger Girl Scouts and Adult Members

Sonaeyo tsune ni - Be Prepared

For tenderfoot Girl Scouts 

Smile

Age groups:

Ranger Girl Scout 15-17

Senior Girl Scout 12-15

Junior Girl Scout 9-12

Brownie Girl Scout 6-9

Tenderfoot Girl Scout 5-6

Development of the movement:

Girl Scouting was first introduced to Japan by Miss Muriel Greenstreet, a British missionary teacher, in 1919. The Movement gradually spread and in 1920 took the name Nihon Joshi Hododan (Girl Guides of Japan). In 1928 Japan became a founder member of WAGGGS.

Unfortunately Girl Scouting was banned by the Government during World War II, but its spirit remained. The Movement was restarted in 1947 and officially recognized as Girl Scouts of Japan (GSJ) in 1949.

In 1995, Girl Scouts of Japan introduced Long-Term Plan/Action Plans 1995-2000. This is based on WAGGGS’ Long-Term Plan and its four objectives helped troops and Councils to plan activities/events suitable to their needs:

1 GSJ aims to encourage girls and young women to be self-confident and get more actively involved with the Movement.

2 GSJ will establish new education programmes in order to train those who can be leaders working in the society, in which men and women actively and jointly participate in all areas and at all levels.

3 GSJ aims to strengthen its structure by utilizing and supporting human resources in and out of the Movement

4 GSJ will establish sound finances, aiming for secure sources of revenue.

Every year details of the Action Plans are checked against the Mission Statement and, if necessary, are revised to respond to changing times.

GSJ’s Mission is to enable girls and young women to think and act as responsible citizens of the world; to create happiness and peace for others and themselves.

Programme:

‘Self-development’, ‘Relationships with others’ and ‘Enjoyment of outdoors’ are stressed in the programme of each age group. The consistency of the activities of all age groups develops the girls as responsible world citizens.

‘Self-development’ focuses on the girls’ ability to act on their own, backed up by their sound self-esteem, communication skills and physical well-being.

‘Relationship with others’ encourages the girls to accept people with different backgrounds and values, and to work with them together.

‘Enjoyment of outdoors’ is an arena for the girls to respect nature, and a feeling of awe of something greater than human beings. It also encourages the girls to pay attention to various environment-related issues and act to solve those problems on their own.

The Girl Scout Gathering is held annually for Senior and Ranger Girl Scouts all over the country. This is an opportunity for them to get together and discuss various issues related to the theme of WAGGGS’ Strategic Plan. The National Girl Scout Gathering in December 2001 also included high school students from outside the movement.

In accordance with WAGGGS’ Peace Initiative, many troops have become involved with the Peace Pack Project, and GSJ sent approximately 77,000 packs for Afghan refugee/returnee children between 1995 and 1999. This project is still continuing with girls taking the initiative themselves in implementing Peace Projects. A total of 125,000 Peace Packs have been sent and the project has been highly valued by UNHCR for providing educational support for the Forgotten Afghan Refugees. The Association received the WAGGGS Refugee Award in 1998.

A new pre-school age group called Tenderfoot was established in 2001.

A new educational programme will be fully implemented by April 2003. By 2002, the comprehensive five-day school system will also be implemented by the government for all public schools nationwide. The reform of formal and non-formal education laws required more cooperation between schools and non formal educational organizations, and youth educational organizations such as GSJ are expected to play an important role in education in Japan. This educational reform also gives GSJ more opportunities to provide learning-by-experience education as well as ‘outdoor’ education.

Relationship to society:

On/around 22 May – Girl Scout Day – every year, Girl Scouts Festivals are held all over Japan, which help the community to pay more attention to environmental issues. Girls and young women take the initiative in a wide range of activities/projects/events that cater for needs unique to the communities. This event also provides Senior and Ranger Scouts with the opportunities to develop their own community projects.

Communication and Co-operation

GSJ is involved regularly with other Member Organizations, particularly those of the Asia Pacific Region and take many opportunities to attend international camps and other events abroad, especially at the four World Centres. Participants at international events and programmes share their experiences at ‘Sharing Meetings’ with GSJ after the event.

Since November 1995, GSJ has been sending delegations to Pakistan to monitor the distribution and handling of Peace Packs to the Afghan refugee children sheltered at various camps in the country. They also visit literacy classes conducted by the Pakistan Girl Guides Association. All the delegates have been active in sharing their experiences. The Peace Pack Project is funded by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After September 11th, this project has received much public attention and has been featured in several media articles. GSJ has received many enquiries and many elementary and junior high schools have requested to continue the project as part of the Comprehensive Study – a new school curriculum. GSJ is hoping this will lead to greater cooperation between schools and the Girl Scout troops.

The National Assembly of Youth Development Fellowship Programme invites young leaders from abroad to visit Japan. Girl Guide/Girl Scout leaders from Mongolia (1999), The Maldives (2000) and Cambodia (2001) have participated in this programme. The participants learn about Japanese cultural, industrial and educational facilities, explore the Japanese way of life and develop good relations with youth organizations in Japan. It is also an opportunity for GSJ to review their own activities with new friends from other Asia Pacific regions.

The Youth Cultural Exchange Programme was launched between Korea and Japan in 1999 and has run every summer since. In 2001, 25 Senior Scouts and 25 Ranger Scouts from Korea were invited to Japan. This programme is part of a ten-year cultural exchange project for Boy and Girl Scouts originating from the Joint Declaration between President Kin Dae-jung of Korea and Prime Minister Keizo Obushi of Japan. This project received grants from the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation subsidized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The theme of the youth exchange was ‘Heritage, Our Treasure’. Although the relationship between Japan and Korea can be delicate, the 2001 Programme was very successful.

GSJ enjoys another exchange programme with the GirlGuiding UK, subsidized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. For the first year (1998), GSJ invited 82 Guiders from the UK to explore Japanese culture and to share and discuss issues affecting young people in both countries. Four years after the programme’s inauguration, 13 young leaders from GSJ visited the UK. A new event will be launched for this programme from 2002.

 Many Girl Scouts troops actively raise funds for UNICEF as well as supporting developing countries and enjoy good relations with other non governmental organizations.

GSJ produces several periodicals. The magazines for girls and adult members will be renewed in 2002. GSJ also produced PR booklets and publicises its activities with press releases, radio, television etc. The website address www.girlscout.or.jp,  is updated monthly and reviewed every year.

 

Training:

The GSJ Training Scheme for Trainers is accredited by WAGGGS, and all the GSJ Trainers are qualified to wear the WAGGGS Training Pin. This Training Scheme is reviewed regularly to ensure that it is relevant to the needs of today’s changing society.  The Training scheme has now been reviewed to suit the needs of the new educational programme with the aim of re-vitalising the Trainers’ own activities.

Outdoor and Environmental Activities

The Togakushi Girl Scout Centre was built in Nagano, in the centre of Honshu, the main island of Japan, in 1958. It was rebuilt and re-opened in the summer of 2000. It is open to all girls and young women to share and learn about the Girl Scouting educational programme.

GSJ is a member of the Council for Outdoor and Nature Experience (CONE) which aims to train leaders and conduct research to meet the needs for outdoor activities. Although CONE is an independent non governmental organization, the government actively supports CONE. CONE encourages exchanges between member organizations. GSJ Training Scheme is accredited as a training scheme for CONE.

Projects