The prestigious private university, which was established in the early Meiji Era (1868-1912), is increasingly attracting Muslim students from Indonesia, the Middle East and elsewhere.
Followers of Islam turn toward Mecca and pray five times a day.
Muslim students have been using empty classrooms and other quiet spots when they pray on campus. But there was nowhere for them to practice “wudu,” or the ablution of the face, hands, feet and other parts of the body prior to prayers.
Some students used to perform wudu using restroom washstands, but that was often impractical and inconvenient as the basins were so high.
The new ablution facilities were installed in a restroom for disabled people of both sexes. The door to the restroom functions as a screen. The university installed a faucet and a tub near ground level.
Iyas Salim, a Palestinian graduate student, said he often encounters suspicious stares when he is about to wash his feet at washstands in restrooms for general users.
“Wudu is an important practice for Muslims, whereby they purify both their bodies and their spirits,” Salim said. “I feel peace of mind now that there is a place for that purpose.”