Kyoto Hosei Gakko (Kyoto School of Law and Politics) (京都法政学校)

Kyoto Hosei School, a private institution established in 1990 by Kojuro NAKAGAWA, et. al, was formerly the school of Ritsumeikan University (head office of the Educational Foundation: Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City).

Plan and situation of Kyoto Hosei School's establishment
He was born into the Nakagawa family in the town of Tanba, and eventually he went to work for SAIONJI. When he was 13 years old, his uncle Kenjiro NAKAGAWA, who was the principal of Women's Higher Normal School, recommended that he move to Tokyo. After that, he would frequently visit SAIONJI (Kinmochi)'s house as a student of Kinmochi. He served as a politician in the Kizokuin (House of Peers) on the recommendation of SAIONJI (Kinmochi), and inherited SAIONJI's passion, which was to ensure the management and growth of Ritsumeikan University. Nakagawa worked for SAIONJI (Kinmochi) as his aide until his death.

IN 1894, Kinmochi SAIONJI assumed the post of Minister of Education and drew up the 'Expansion Plan for Higher Education.'
His initial goal was to establish an institution for higher education in Kyoto on the same level as Tokyo Imperial University and thereby meet the demands of the nation. Accordingly, Kyoto Imperial University's 'arrangements committee of establishment,' which was located within the ministry, promulgated 'Regarding Kyoto Imperial University' (University Establishment Ordinance) in 1897, which provided the opportunity to establish Kyoto University. At that time, Kojuro NAKAGAWA, who had worked in the specialized Academic Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Education, became the secretary to SAIONJI, who was the Minister of Education. Subsequently, NAKAGAWA was appointed as the first secretary general of Kyoto Imperial University in charge of school administration. He took the lead in establishing the university with Hiroji KINOSHITA, who assumed the post as first president of Kyoto Imperial University.

In 1898, when the work of establishing Kyoto Imperial University was settled, Kojuro NAKAGAWA resigned from his post as a counselor to the Ministry of Education and became a businessman. He was successful in business, starting as the director of Kajima Ginko (Kajima Bank) and eventually becoming an inspector of Osaka Dojima Beikoku Torihikijo (Osaka Dojima Grain Exchange), after which he served as a vice president of the Asahi Seimei Insurance Company. However, for organizational reasons Kyoto Imperial University accepted only students who had graduated from former high schools, even though he was the main person involved in the school's establishment; he felt it was far away from Kinmochi SAIONJI's proposition of 'giving a chance (education) to people who are intelligent and have high motivation,' and therefore he decided to promote private schooling. The next year he obtained teaching support from former professors of Kyoto Imperial University, Yorozu ODA, Hisoka INOUE, Santaro OKAMATSU, as well as Yui Nishida (executive director of the Asahi Seimei Company), Atsushi HASHIMOTO (the first president of Daido Seimei Insurance Company), Yoshinao YAMASHITA (member of the Kyoto Metropolitan Assembly), Kashiichiro KAWARABAYASHI (executive director of Toyo Rayon (Toray)), Kametaro HAMURO (general manager of Keishin Densha) had supported in terms of management for the establishment of the school. Other important people from the realm of Kyoto financial affairs lent their assistance to the school's establishment, including Jinzaburo NAIKI, Koutetsu HAMAOKA, Gentaro TANAKA, Eisuke NAKAMURA, Kikutaro AMEMORI, Bunpei TAKAGI, Yoshio KAWARABAYASHI), and with the help of these people he established the office of Kyoto Hosei School in a corner of the Asahi Seimei Insurance Company.

In May 4, 1900 he submitted 'Request for Establishment of Private Kyoto Law and Politics Technical School' to the governor of Kyoto. Fortunately the same year, on May 19, the school's establishment was approved, and on June 5 a ceremony was held to celebrate the school's opening. The first principal was a professor from Tokyo Imperial University, Masaakira TOMII, who had been involved in drafting the code of civil law. Tomii worked as principal of Kyoto Hosei School and Ritsumeikan Private School until August 31, 1927.

Establishment of Kyoto Hosei School
Kojuro NAKAGAWA, who took the lead in establishing the school, said, 'From the beginning avoid pretending to be gorgeous but intend to be stable ('introduction' "35th Anniversary Memorial Thesis Literature Book"); but for the time in which the school was established it wasn't enough to prepare for everything such as a satisfactory space for school-building, so instead they rented the second and third floors of 'Seikiro (the former Yoshida-ya)' located in Sanbongi-dori, Kamigyo-ku, in order to give lectures. The school was established for worker education as a night school (three years); there were students who served as the government officer, prefecture school teacher, or the prefectural worker in an honorary position. The budget wasn't sufficient to hire specialized professors, so the professors from Kyoto Imperial University covered most lectures. Shown as the school name, when the school was established there were only two departments: Law and Politics. However, the document that was submitted to Kyoto Prefecture as an 'application for school building rental' said, 'In the future, we plan to add two more departments--the Literature Department and the Medical Department--in order to take up one of the biggest issues of education in this country, which is to train junior high school teachers and doctors,' which implies that "Kyoto Hosei Gakko" was regarded as tentative name. In fact, in 1904 the Economics Department was founded as a college department that transcended the definition of Hosei School; accordingly, the next year it was 'Ritsumeikan,' thus signaling the search for concrete changes befitting the new name. Additionally, Kyoto Hogakko (Kyoto Law School) was established in 1889, essentially taking over the system of and assimilating Kyoto Hosei School; according to the historical record, the school owner, Keijun YAMASAKI, continued to teach at Kyoto Hosei School.

After the school's establishment

At that time they petitioned to rent a school building and land of 'the former Kyoto Prefectural First Women's Technical High School,' located in Dotemachi-dori Marutamachi-dori sagaru Komanocho, Kamigyo-ku, by means of the 'application for school rental' submitted to Kyoto Prefecture; however, they abandoned the application because the former Kyoto Prefectural Second Women's Technical High School had been approved for rent. In December 1901, the fifteenth owner of Sumitomo, Kimisumi SUMITOMO, who was the real brother of Kinmochi SAIONJI, donated 1,500 yen, reserved land and a school building located in Hirokoji-dori Kawaramachi, Kamigyo-ku, (410 Nakagoryocho), Kyoto-City, and moved there. This school site at Hirokoji served as the campus of Ritsumeikan University for about 80 years until the relocation to the Kinugasa Campus (Tojiinkitamachi, Kita-ku) in 1981.

In 1903, the organization was changed to 'Shiritsu Kyoto Hosei Senmon Gakko (Private Kyoto Law and Politics Technical School)' in compliance with the Acts of Colleges. The next year (1904) it was renamed 'Kyoto Hosei Private University' and established the university departments (Law, Economics and the preparatory course) and specialized studies (Law, Public Administration, Economics and High Research).
In 1905 the school received approval to succeed in name from 'Shijuku Ritsumeikan,' which had been established by Kinmochi SAIONJI in his private space at the Kyoto Imperial Palace in 1869, and in 1913 established the 'Ritsumeikan Foundation' and renamed it as the 'Private Ritsumeikan University.'
Takemaro SUEHIRO assumed a place of executive on the Board of Directors as a real brother of Kinmochi SAIONJI, since he had endeavored to manage the school since the Kyoto Hosei School was established. SUEHIRO and NAKAGAWA shared the position on the first Board of Directors of the Ritsumeikan Foundation and as founders of the Private Ristumeikan University.

Today there is a monument inscribed as the 'starting place of Ritsumeikan' on the site of the former 'Seikiro," which Kyoto Hosei school once used as a temporary school. There is also a monument inscribed 'Beginning of the place of Ritsumeikan University,' which was built at the site of the main office of the educational foundation from 1901 to 1981, and is where 'Hirokoji gakusha' once was (the former Nakagawa Kaikan (Nakagawa Hall).

The concept of establishment

The government established one campus of Teikoku (Imperial) University in Kyoto. It had been decided that there would be two universities (in the east and west, respectively) as the center of the best education, and that the two universities would compete with each other as motivation for progress in education; and in Tokyo, several public and private schools as well as Teikoku (Imperial) University already began accepting various applicants; thus the students who had youthful resolution gathered, which is the center of education. However, there were many good, enthusiastic young students gathered at Teikoku (Imperial) University, which was newly established in Kyoto, but the university couldn't accept the applicants who had not graduated from high school, so there was no school to study high education without status as a university, which was the problem of greatest concern, so volunteers who were of the same mind gathered and established the Kyoto Hosei School, entrusting the lectures to the professors of Kyoto Imperial University and other well-known teachers; thus the institution could provide higher education in politics, law and economics to society. Certainly, a reason for that was to demonstrate the government's approval concerning the establishment of education in two places (east and west), and another reason was to make up for the flaw in the educational system whereby Teikoku (Imperial) University was not widely open to applicants who had not graduated from high school ('A Brief History of Ritsumeikan University,' "Ritsumeikan Gakuho," March 1915).

The first new students
About the first students
In 1900, when the school was opened, 360 applicants had applied for admission to Kyoto Hosei School. Of those applicants, 305 (Department of Law 225, Department of Politics 80) were accepted to enter the school as the first students, but after three years from entering the school there were just 57 graduates (Department of Law 47, Department of Politics 10). Of the 57 graduating students, more than half were aged 20 to 25. Twenty percent were under 20 years of age. Nearly 30% of the students were older than 26 years. According to the record, the oldest graduating student was 41 years old.

The first graduation ceremony was held at the hall on July 12, 1903, and among the guests were the professor and assistant professor of Kyoto Imperial University, the (former) principal of Third High School, the chief of the Kyoto District Court, a representative from the Kyoto Bar Association, the vice president of the Kyoto Prefectural Assembly, a local politician, a counselor of the Kyoto Prefectural Assembly, and an executive officer in charge of education, all of whom contributed to the magnificent ceremony for this private school. On the day of the graduation the vice principal, Hisoka INOUE, handed out diplomas instead of the principal, Masaaki TOMII who couldn't come to Kyoto because he was in Tokyo, and Hiroji KINOSHITA (the president of Kyoto Imperial University) gave a congratulatory speech as a representative of the guests in attendance. The next day there was a graduation party with professors Kensuke ASADA, Hisoka INOUE, Santaro OKAMATSU, Mitsuru ODA, Bunjiro SHIMA, Kinji TAJIMA and Masutaro NIIDA, and commemorative graduation pictures were taken in front of Chion-in Temple Sakura-mon (Sakura Gate).

[Original Japanese]