Doshisha University

Doshisha University

Motto Latin: Veritas liberabit vos
Motto in English
Truth shall make you free
Type Private
Established Founded 1875,
Chartered 1920
Endowment €1 billion (JP¥169.6 billion)
President Koji Murata
Vice-president Nobuhiro Tabata, Yasuhiro Kuroki, Tsutao Katayama, Takashi Nishimura
Academic staff
777 full-time,
1411 part-time
Undergraduates 26,522
Postgraduates 2,377
Location Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
35°01′47″N 135°45′39″E / 35.029737°N 135.760725°E / 35.029737; 135.760725Coordinates: 35°01′47″N 135°45′39″E / 35.029737°N 135.760725°E / 35.029737; 135.760725
Campus Urban / Suburban,
530 acres (2.1 km²)
Colors White and Purple          
Athletics 50 varsity teams
Nickname Dodai (同大 Dōdai)
Mascot Astro Boy (unofficial and historical)

Doshisha University (同志社大学 Dōshisha daigaku), also referred to as Dodai (同大 Dōdai), is a private university in Kyoto City, Japan. Established in 1875, it is one of Japan's oldest private institutions of higher learning, and has approximately 30,000 students enrolled on four different campuses in Kyoto.[1] It is one of the Japanese "Global 30" universities[2] and one of the "Kankandoritsu," a group of the four leading private universities in western Japan's Kansai region.

Doshisha was founded by Joseph Hardy Neesima as "Doshisha English School", and in 1920 it was granted university status. The university now encompasses 14 faculties and 16 graduate schools with numerous affiliated institutions including Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts.


Doshisha University was founded in 1875 as Doshisha English School by Protestant educator Niijima Jō (also known as Joseph Hardy Neesima), as a school to advance Christian education in Japan. As a young man, Niijima left Japan for the United States in 1864, despite the ban on overseas travel then imposed on Japanese nationals. He studied at Phillips Academy and Amherst College, and returned to Japan in 1874. The next year, Niijima established the Doshisha School with the assistance of Canadian Methodist missionary G. G. Cochran.[3][4] Niijima served as president of the university from 1875 to 1890. Other early university presidents included educator and author Yamamoto Kakuma (1890–1892), Seito Saibara (1899–1902) who was the first Christian member of the Japanese Diet, and prominent chemical engineer Kotaro Shimomura (1904-1907).

By 1920, Doshisha was granted university status and developed into a full-fledged university in the Anglo-American academic tradition. During World War II, its buildings were given Japanese names and its curriculum was stripped of its pro-Western elements. The prewar conditions were restored after the surrender of Japan. The first graduate degree programs were instituted in 1953.

Amherst College has maintained a close relationship with Doshisha University,[5] and since 1972, Doshisha has collaborated with a consortium of American liberal arts colleges including Amherst to host the Associated Kyoto Program, an 8-month long study abroad program offered every year to students from American colleges and universities. Doshisha also houses the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies, another program affiliated with American universities and centered on advanced Japanese language training.

Academics and admissions

University rankings (overall)
Toyo Keizai National[6]General 18
WE National[7]Employment 18
NBP Kansai[8]Reputation 3 (#1 private)
Shimano National[9]Selectivity A1
University rankings (by subject)


BE Success National[10]Qualification 11
BE Pass rate National[11]Qualification 23


CPA Success National[12]Qualification 9

Doshisha University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan today, with particularly strong influence in the Kansai region. The university has been ranked 12th and 14th in 2009 and 2010 respectively in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" (本当に強い大学) by Toyo Keizai.[6] The university is considered one of the most selective private universities in Japan.[13][14][15] The acceptance rate for the 40,924 applicants for the 2014 academic year was 35.6%, with acceptance rate in some departments under 15%.[16] In 2013, the university was ranked fourth among Japanese private universities for "schools to which parents wish to send their child," following Waseda University, Keio University, and Meiji University in Tokyo.[17]

Doshisha has graduate degree programs in Theology, Letters, Psychology, Business, Global Studies, Law, Economics, Commerce, Policy and Management, Culture and Information Science, Science and Engineering, Life and Medical Sciences, Health and Sports Science, and Social Studies.[18]

The libraries at the Imadegawa and Kyotanabe campuses hold more than 2.5 million volumes.


As of 2013, Doshisha University employs 777 full-time and 1,411 part-time faculty members across its Kyoto campuses. In terms of research, Doshisha has filed the 36th-highest number of patents in the nation.[19]


Doshisha University has two main campuses at Imadegawa in central Kyoto and at Kyotanabe in southern Kyoto. Imadegawa is the main campus, located in the former residence of Satsuma Domain. It has been in use since the school was founded. Located in the center of Kyoto City, the campus is situated next to Shōkoku-ji, overlooking Kyoto Imperial Palace. Five buildings in the Imadegawa campus have been designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan, including Doshisha Chapel and Clark Memorial Hall. This campus is primarily for the liberal arts, business (including a graduate school of business), theology, and law faculties. A large learning commons with over 40,000 square meters of space, the Ryoshinkan, was opened in 2012 and included the incorporation of Imadegawa Station, a station on the Karasuma Line of the Kyoto Municipal Subway.

The Kyotanabe Campus was opened in 1986, in Kyōtanabe, Kyoto and is part of Kansai Science City. Over 195 acres (0.79 km2) in area, it serves primarily as the campus for the science and engineering faculties. In 2012, a new Karasuma Campus was established approximately 300 meters from the Imadegawa Campus. The Karasuma Campus houses the International Education Institute, the Graduate School of Global Studies, and the Faculty of Global and Regional Studies.

Student life


There are over 400 clubs and organizations in Doshisha University.[20]




Doshisha is renowned for its strong connection to business in the Kansai region, and according to the 2011 university rankings by Toyo Keizai, 533 alumni served as executives in listed companies. As of 2013, around 25.5% of undergraduates were able to enter one of the top 400 companies in Japan, which ranks eighth nationwide among all private institutions in Japan and first among private universities in Kansai.[22]

Doshisha alumni include Takako Doi, the first female Lower House Speaker in Japan (the highest position a female politician has held in the country's history); Abe Isoo, an early pacifist and feminist and member of the Japanese Diet; Japanese statesman Uchida Kosai, who twice served as acting prime minister; Japanese-language author David Zoppetti; Korean poet Yun Dong-ju; tea master Hansō Sōshitsu; and Gunpei Yokoi, creator of the Nintendo Game Boy.


  1. "About Doshisha: Fact". Doshisha University. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  3. Foreign Ministry of Japan: Episodes in Japan-Canada Relations.
  4. "About Doshisha University". Doshisha University. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  5. "The Doshisha University". Amherst College. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  6. 1 2 "Truly Strong Universities" (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  7. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  8. "Nikkei BP Brand rankings of Japanese universities" (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  9. "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  10. "Bar Exam Successful Applicants rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  11. "Bar Exam Pass rate rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  12. "CPA Successful Applicants rankings" (in Japanese). Yutaka Honkawa. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  13. National and Public universities apply different kind of exams.
  14. e.g. Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings
  15. Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks its entrance difficulty in the "most selective" bracket in Japan. 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011.
  20. "Doshisha University Clubs and Circles". Doshisha University. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  21. "Doshisha University Rugby Football Club: Information". Doshisha University. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  22. "2013年 大学別著名400社 就職率ランキング". 大学通信. Retrieved October 29, 2014.
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