Digital Media Concepts/Tokyo Medical University for Rejected Woman

The Tokyo Medical University for Rejected Woman is a fictional school created by Japanese digital artists and activists Sputniko! and Tomomi Nishizaki. Using mixed media design techniques, they created a digital marketing brochure aimed towards empowering woman who were unfairly rejected from Tokyo's Medical University due to a systemic rigging scandal that favored male medical students for almost a decade.

Artist and Activist Hiromi Ozaki, better know as Sputniko!

Background edit

The Tokyo Medical University Scandal: edit

Tokyo, Japan and its booming media driven society

Japan's prestigious Tokyo Medical University came under fire in 2018 after an investigation into the school's bribery suspicions uncovered tampering with students exam scores. Specifically, scores for some female applicants had been reduced by 20% while 20 points were added to the scores of some male applicants. When the new broke out, the University claims to have rigged the system because they believed that women would not last long in the medical industry after starting a family. Assuming male doctors were more beneficial than female doctors, the university costs many women their careers and, overall, highlighted the systemic sexism tied into Japanese society.[1] This scandal justifiably caused uproar, prompting national protests and attention from celebrities such as artists Sputniko! and Tomomi Nishizaki who collaborated on a project called "Tokyo Medical School for Rejected Woman" to speak out against the discriminatory university systems.

Project Design and Display edit

By mixing photography with mixed media outlets as well as design, the "Tokyo Medical School for Rejected Woman (TMURW)", performs as an online marketing brochure similar to one that can be found for real universities. This 14 page piece features the following pages: Table of Contents, Mission and Values Admission Policy, Welcome from our Faculty, Educational Environment, Program Description, An Interview with President Sputniko!, Photographs, and Credits.

Throughout the brochure, there are digitally created images that look like real life medical environments mixed with futuristic elements. For example, a city scape of Japan can be seen in one of the advertising photos, but a drone carrying a male doctor in a box has been added to it as part of the project's idea of the perfect male doctor being delivered to his employer after the operation. Another image gives a glimpse into the "frida" female controlled robotic operating machine creating the perfect doctor by performing surgery on a man lying on an operating table.

The everyday elements that were integrated into the photos such as a to go coffee cup, iphone with earbuds, coat hangers, etc. give a realistic feel to the images that don't make them seem digitally augmented. [2]

Mission and Program Description: edit

In short, the TMURW aims to use innovative technology, specifically a robotic surgical system called frida which can create the "perfect doctors" out of any male applicant and is fully controlled by female students of the university. By doing so, female students will be able to pursue their careers in the medical field and men can become the perfect doctors that society demands.

The process is completed in just a few steps:

  1. Reception- "Everyday men who wish to be transformed into great doctors flock to the university. Our students greet them with a warm welcome and take their information."
  2. "The men form a line in front of the operating room."
  3. "Our students reconstruct the regular man into an elite doctor."
  4. "The men are given time for postoperative recovery in our comfortable resting area."
  5. "Once approved for dispatched, the men are packaged in a box and delivered to various hospitals by drone."[3]

Faculty: edit

President: Sputniko!

Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees: Tomomi Nishizaki

Political Message using Design/Speculative Fiction edit

As seen in the "Welcome from our Faculty" section of the brochure, creator Sputniko! states, "Here, we encourage true fusion between female intellect and male bodies [...] We are driven by the belief that that there is a way for us to improve the quality of healthcare in Japan while keeping Japanese men's fragile pride into consideration."


The purpose of this project was to hit back at the misogynistic and discriminatory views that are prominent in Japanese society where both of the artists are from.[4] They took the idea of male doctors being more capable than female doctors and twisted it into a sarcastic yet eye opening fictional reality in which women are in control of what the perfect doctor is. Furthermore, showing that women create male doctors, it reinforces the idea that women are more capable than men, directly challenging the perceptions about male and female authority in Japanese society.

Speculative and design fiction are forms of fiction that focuses on themes or concepts that don't exist in reality. These imaginative realms are designed to encourage communication and foster debates, especially amongst controversial topics. [5]

Exhibition edit

"Refiguring the Future" exhibition organized by Eyebeam on Feb 8 - March 31 at 205 Hudson Gallery, Hunter College Art Galleries, New York, NY 10013.[6]

References edit

  1. "Tokyo medical school admits changing results to exclude women". the Guardian. 2018-08-07. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  2. "Tokyo Medical University for Rejected Women — Sputniko!". Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  3. "Tokyo Medical University for Rejected Women — Sputniko!". Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  4. Romo, Vanessa (2018-11-07). "Tokyo Medical School Busted For Rigging Women's Tests Admits Rejected Applicants". NPR. Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  5. "Speculative design: 3 examples of design fiction | Inside Design Blog". Retrieved 2021-10-13.
  6. Tokyo Medical University for Rejected Women - Open Campus Exhibition, retrieved 2021-10-13