In 1871, Ōyama Sutematsu was sent to the United States to get an education. It was a step in the process of opening up and modernizing Japan after a bloody civil war. A few years later, she became the first Japanese woman to earn a college degree when she graduated from Vassar.
On returning to Japan after graduation, Sutematsu found the nation had reverted to the old ways, and very few Japanese girls received any kind of formal education. So she set out to change that, which involved a lifelong struggle against the entrenched forces of Japanese society. Read the intriguing story of Sutematsu at Rejected Princesses. -via Strange Company