A female teacher has been told she must use her maiden name at work.

Wedding rings

Wedding rings

Advocate for Japan's gender equality suffered a set back when a court ruled a female teacher must use her married name when at work.

According to The Daily Telegraph newspaper, the teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, launched a lawsuit against Nihon University Daisangakuen to keep the right to use her maiden name at work.

But three judges have ruled that although the practice was increasing, it was ''not deeply rooted in society''.

In Japan, whilst the law doesn't stipulate which name they should use, in practice women take their husbands surname in 96 per cent of cases.