In 1871, Umeko (Mume) Tsuda, was sent to the U.S. by the Japanese Government to learn about American culture. Her family did not accompany her. She was just 7 years old. But this little girl stayed for 10 years watching and learning. In 1900 she founded the first women's college in Japan, the institution that now bears her name. Naoko is a graduate of Tsuda College. She was asked to write a couple of songs on the occasion of the school's 100th Anniversary. She decided to write one to tell Umeko's story and one to capture the spirit of the school. The result was 'Mume' (Little Girl) and 'Challenge the Unknown. Both songs were performed to overwhelming response on her recent Japan tour. They have been well-received in New York as well, with artists already requesting permission to record 'Mume'. The words most used in describing these tunes are, 'inspiring, touching and well-crafted.'
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