Doshisha English School (同志社英学校)

Doshisha English School (Doshisha Eigakko) is a private school that Joseph Hardy Neesima (Joe NIIJIMA) established in Kyoto in 1875. It is the forerunner of Doshisha University.

It is mentioned along with Tokyo Senmon Gakko (Waseda University, as of now) established by Shigenobu OKUMA and Keio Gijuku (Keio University, as of now) established by Yukichi FUKUZAWA in the textbook titled "A detailed history of Japan revised edition" published by Yamakawa Publishing Company and authorized by the Ministry of Education. It is one of three eminent Japanese private schools.


It is the forerunner of Doshisha University.

The spirit of establishing the school

The spirit of establishing Doshisha is 'conscience' based on the spirit of Christianity.
Joseph Hardy Neesima declared the aim of establishing the school to be the nurturing of 'people who operate with conscience and skills.'
He wished to foster people 'filled with conscience to their whole bodies' by not leaning toward intellectual education but conducting 'Tokuiku' (Teaching of virtue) based on Christianity alongside. There are monuments engraved with his thoughts, handwritten at the front entrances of both campuses of Imadegawa and Kyotanabe. The following words are engraved on these conscience monuments: May healthy men filled with conscience to their whole bodies appear.

And as the educational philosophy to realize this 'conscience' education concretely, 'Christian principles,' 'liberalism,' and 'internationalism' have been upheld, and it has aimed at fostering people as 'the nation's conscience' through these.


1875: Joseph Hardy Neesima established Doshisha English School at Teramachi, Kyoto. Two teachers and eight students.

1876: It was relocated to a site in Imadegawa (the vacant lot of the former residence of the Satsuma Domain in Shokoku-ji Nihonmatsu) donated by Kakuma YAMAMOTO. About 35 members of the Kumamoto Band entered the school at this time.

1887: Doshisha Hospital and Kyoto Training School for Nurses were established as a part of the Medical School (Faculty of Medicine) plan.

1888: 'The Aim in Establishing Doshisha University' was published in major nationwide magazines and newspapers.

1890: Joseph Hardy Neesima passed away. Harris Science School (Faculty of Engineering, as of now) was established in September.

1891: School of Politics and Law was established. Department of Political Science (Faculty of Law, as of now) and Department of Economics (Faculty of Economic, as of now) were placed.

1893: The emblem of Doshisha was adopted.

1904: School of Theology and senmon gakko (professional school) were established under the Senmon Gakko (professional school) Ordinance. School of Politics and Law, Science School and so on were discontinued or integrated.

1908: Doshisha College Song was adopted.

1911: It was reorganized as a senmon gakko (professional school), and four faculties consisting of School of Theology, Faculty of English Teaching, Faculty of Higher Commerce (Faculty of Commerce, as of now) and Faculty of Political Science and Economics were established.

1912: Doshisha University (School of Theology, Faculty of Political Science and Economics and Department of English) was established under the Senmon Gakko (professional school) Ordinance.

1920: It was raised to the first University in Kansai area by the University Ordinance. Doshisha University, consisting of Faculty of Letters (Department of Theology and Department of English), Faculty of Law (Department of Political Science and Department of Economics), Graduate School and Preparatory School, was established.

Basic Data


It is a pattern of three triangles gathered, stylizing an Assyrian letter 'matu' meaning a nation or a land. It is interpreted as a symbol of Doshisha' s educational philosophy aiming at the harmony of three elements of education: intellectual, moral and physical educations. It was designed by Hangetsu YUASA.

School Color
Two colors of purple (a medium color between Tyrian purple and Edo purple) and white. It is the same school color as that of Amherst College where the founder, Joseph Hardy Neesima, studied.

College Song

Doshisha College Song (Words by W.M. Vories, Music by Carl Wilhelm)
Doshisha Daigakuka, University song (Words by Hakushu KITAHARA, Music by Kosaku YAMADA)
They are included in the College Songs Collection (CD) which is distributed to new students in Doshisha University every year. Until 2004, the songs in the CD had been the unaccompanied male chorus version sung by the glee club of the University, but since 2005, it has been the a cappella arrangement consisting of five mixed voices and vocal percussions.
Arranged and sung by the a cappella circle of the University, 'One Voices.'

Prominent persons

Isoo ABE
Kazutami UKITA
Seinosuke GO
Eijiro ONO

[Original Japanese]