Kogakusho, Kangakusho (皇学所・漢学所)

Kogakusho (the Imperial Learning Place) and Kangakusho (the Chinese Learning Place) were higher educational institutions established in Kyoto by the Meiji Government immediately after the Restoration of Imperial Rule. They aimed to be alternative institutions for Daigaku-ryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system (a system of centralized government based on the ritsuryo code)) but ended in failure.

In the late Heian period, when the great fire of Angen occurred, Daigaku-ryo was virtually abolished. After that time, Imperial Court didn't have official educational institutions. In 1847, Emperor Ninko set up Gakushuin in Kyoto Imperial Place for the purpose of re-establishing educational institutions.

Due to political turbulence during Taisei Hokan (transfer of power back to the Emperor), Gakushuin was closed down for a half year but resumed on April 4,1868. However, since Gakushuin adopted an educational policy based on Confucianism like old Daigaku-ryo did, scholars of Kokugaku (Japanese classical literature) were disaffected and they asked for the reformation of Gakushuin, centering on Kokugaku and Shinto, or the establishment of schools under the new system.

Previously, three scholars of Japanese classical literature: Atsutane HIRATA, Misao TAMAMATSU, Harumichi YANO were required to do a research about the new school system. The report was submitted on April 20. According to the report, Gakusha-sei system was to be adopted to replace Daigaku-ryo or Gakushuin, consisting of five subjects: Honkyo-gaku (study of Japanese classical literature, Shinto), Keisei-gaku (politics, economics), Jisho-gaku (literature, calligraphic works and paintings), Hogi-gaku (medicine, art), and Gaiban-gaku (Western studies, science). They tried to make the system with Honkyo-gaku, which was centered on Kokugaku, instead of the Confucianism-centered Myogyo-do.

However, on May 7, mainly conservative court nobles who objected the initiative hammered out Daigaku-ryo re-establishment line and changed the name of Gakushuin to Daigakuryo-dai. HIRATA and others strongly dissented.
Akimichi HASEGAWA was troubled and he sent Tomomi IWAKURA a written opinion to encourage compromise between both sides
IWAKURA agreed and on October 28, he made a transition to two educational institutions system: the Kokugaku-centered "Kogakusho" based on HIRATA opinion and the Kangaku-centered "Kangakusho" (Kangaku is the study of Chinese classical literature), which was reorganization of Daigakuryo-dai.

However, when the capital city was immediately transferred Kyoto to Tokyo, the initiative of the government in Tokyo shifted to establish "Daigaku" based on Shohei-gakko school from the old Edo Shogunate, incorporating Western studies. As a result, on October 6, 1869, the government gave an order to abolish Kogakusho and Kangakusho after which both were abolished in eight days.

However, both Kogakusho and Kangakusho strongly made an objection to the resolution. Under pressure, in January, 1870 (December, 1869 in the old lunar calendar), Rusukan (officer to guard while master's away) set up Daigakuko-dai, which was the combination of Kogakusho and Kangakusho, to complement the development of Tokyo Daigaku (The University of Tokyo) located in Tokyo, on his own authority. However, it was abolished on orders of the government in August, 1870.

After that, the initiative of Daigaku (University) establishment developed in Tokyo, and it was in 1897 when Kyoto Imperial University was established in Kyoto.

Kogakusho was located in the premises of the Kujo family (present day Kyoto Imperial Garden, little north of Kujo-ike pond (Itsukushima-jinja Shrine)) while Kangakusho was located in the premises of the Nashimotonomiya family on the west bank of Kamo-gawa River (Yodo-gawa River system) (around the gym of present day Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine)

[Original Japanese]