Monday, Jul 16, 2018


Conscience Education and Educational Philosophy

‘Conscience’ is the principle that underpins Doshisha’s educational philosophy. Our founder, Joseph Neesima, through his nine years spent in Western countries, realized that Christianity, especially Protestantism, significantly influenced the Western culture and mind. For Neesima, an important aspect of Christianity was that conscience grows not before the eyes of humans but before the eyes of God. He believed that one can become a true human being by cultivating conscience, and that conscience can be effectively inspired through an education based on Christian principles. It appeared to Neesima that education in Japan emphasized intellectual development more than the cultivation of the mind. Thus, his educational goal was not to produce ‘specialists without spirit’ (Max Weber), or ‘talented individuals without conscience’, but instead-as Neesima wrote in ‘The Purpose of the Establishment of Doshisha University’- to raise people who will be ‘the conscience of a nation’. He also wrote in a letter to one of his students, ‘I earnestly desire that many young people filled with conscience will be raised and sent out by our school.’
These words are engraved on nine memorial monuments located both in Japan and the US, including one at the main gate of Doshisha University.

We share the aspiration to realize our distinct educational philosophy which has been cultivated and passed down over the years.

Christian principles, liberalism and internationalism lie at the heart of our educational philosophy. From its inception, Doshisha aimed to nurture individuals who would become the ‘ conscience of a nation’. Even though times have changed, our educational philosophy has remained solid and true, and has become even more unshakable through deeper insight into its significance and value.
Precisely because we are in a rapidly changing society, we at Doshisha strive to step into the future with a unified mission to realize our educational ideals and achieve our aspirations.


Business Description

At the forefront of knowledge and wisdom through solid education and research

Doshisha University (Kyoto,Japan)  is developing innovative curriculum and educational programs rich in both quality and diversity. The university has also been engaged in research activities of an international standard, assuming a leading role in a wide range of academic disciplines. We are committed to creating new ‘intellect’ and making extensive contributions to society through a synergetic effect combining a solid educational foundation based on conscience with cutting-edge research initiatives.

Doshisha University is a comprehensive university, embracing 14 faculties and 16 graduate schools.

〔List of Faculties〕

〔List of Graduate Schools〕

About the Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA)

The Institute for the Liberal Arts (ILA) at Doshisha University, one of Japan’s oldest and top ranking universities, offers a world-class academic experience. As students study for their degrees, they gain international experience in Japan and have opportunities to acquire experience abroad, to intern, and to learn Japanese at our acclaimed Center for Japanese Language and Culture. Studying at the ILA offers the best of both worlds: a small Institute within a large university.

Our diverse international faculty are all active researchers and innovators in their own fields. The Institute's small liberal arts college atmosphere and seminars allow students broad access to the faculty’s expertise. As students study for their degrees, faculty members challenge students to not only find interesting answers, but to formulate and ask intriguing questions.

The four-year Liberal Arts Program is conducted exclusively in English. Students concentrate in one of three specializations: Humanities and the Human Sciences (Japanese Society and Global Culture); Business and Economics (Japanese Business and the Global Economy); or Politics and Policy Studies (Japanese Politics and Global Studies), and they are encouraged to design their own curriculum of study, choosing from a wide range of courses offered throughout the Institute and the rest of the University. As members of Doshisha University, ILA students have access to classes across the University.

Our tuition fees are highly competitive and all incoming international students (college visa holders) will be considered for a reduction in tuition fees. Doshisha offers many other competitive scholarships for students.

Kyoto setting provides an exceptional cultural experience, combining the best of tradition and dynamic employment opportunities in modern Japan. Doshisha receives solicitations for approximately 600 job openings every year for international students and 98% of graduates successfully find jobs.



Jo Neesima and Doshisha

142 years ago, Joseph Hardy Neesima broke new ground in Japanese education and sowed the seeds of liberal learning in people’s mind, which have been passed down over generations. Neesima’s vision formed the basis of Doshisha, and has always been present as Doshisha has evolved.

Joseph Hardy Neesima was born as a son of a samurai in 1843, and studied hard to become both a good warrior and a good scholar. Gradually gaining awareness about Western culture and Christianity, he had a serious concern about the future of Japan and realized the importance of studying in Western countries. Neesima left Japan for America in 1864, defying an overseas travel ban. Filled with anxiety and hope, he had begun his adventure. In Shanghai, he boarded a ship, the Wild Rover, bound for Boston.

Under the benevolent support of A. Hardy, the owner of the Wild Rover, Neesima received baptism and studied at Phillips Academy and Amherst College. As he learned advanced Western science and technology and blended into American life, he realized that there was a deep-rooted spiritual background of Christianity in America. He decided to become a minister himself, entering a seminary after graduating from college. The eight years of study at Christian educational institutions in America taught him the importance of conscience and liberty based on Christianity, which is to live according to the will of God and to exercise the freedom only within the realm of the conscience. Neesima returned to his homeland after ten years with a strong ambition to establish a Christian university as well as to spread Christianity.



PBL:Project-Based Learning

Today’s students, who grow up in the information age, are generally highly capable in the area of information technology, such as information processing, but on the other hand, due to a lack of real-world experience, they sometimes perform less well in identifying and solving problems using known information and technologies. It appears that this characteristic is becoming more and more pronounced every year. Therefore, it is recommended that in university education an output-oriented approach, which cultivates an ability to pose and solve problems, is further strengthened, in addition to an input-oriented approach focusing on the acquisition of information and skills. Doshisha University, which embraces its founding spirit of conscience education, believes that fostering individuals who know the right thing, and who can do the right thing, is its educational mission and corresponds with what is required of universities today.

In 2004, under the slogan ‘bringing the educational power of society into a university’, Doshisha University decided to offer about 25 project subject classes across all faculties to ensure a wide range of learning opportunities, with instructors recruited from outside the campus. In collaboration with long established local communities, the university has strived to foster students with ‘project management literacy’ by positively utilizing an educational power inherent in society consisting of multi-age groups. In addition, PBL has been adopted in specialized areas of faculties and graduate schools, as well as in extracurricular and career support activities.

SIED (Student Staff for Intercultural Events at Doshisha)

SIED, Student Staff for Intercultural Events at Doshisha, is a student organization under Office International Students to plan and implement intercultural events. They have worked for on-campus internationalization since October, 2013. As of December, 2015, the number of the staff is 35 in total on both Imadegawa and Kyotanabe campuses. The staff members are proactively working to promote mutual understanding between local and international students.



Doshisha University has a history of over 140 years, a lot of graduates are active at home and abroad. Some of the graduates has served as president and executives of famous enterprises. Many of the graduates have supported  Doshisha University.



A unique opportunity to study in the ancient capital of Kyoto

Doshisha University has two main campuses. One is the Imadegawa Campus located in the heart of Kyoto City, north of Kyoto Imperial Palace and adjacent to a noted Buddhist temple, Shokokuji. As the birthplace of Doshisha University, the history of the Imadegawa Campus is an integral part of Doshisha 142-year-old story. Five buildings on this campus are designated as national important cultural properties. Kyoto’s rich artistic and cultural heritage also provides a distinctive character to the educational approach of Doshisha University. Exposure to the culture of Kyoto during the time spent studying at Doshisha University will be a positive experience that stays with students throughout their lives. The Kyotanabe Campus, the other main campus, is located in southern Kyoto Prefecture, where modern buildings, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and services, stand on 790,000 square meters of land surrounded by a lush green natural environment.



Doshisha University has been operating mainly in one of the President and five Vice President.

Doshisha Elementary School was opened in April 2006, some 130 years after Doshisha was originally founded in 1875. This opening finally brought to fruition the dream of an integrated educational system “from kindergarten through to university”, a strongly-held ambition of Doshisha's founder Joseph Hardy Neesima.

Under the founding philosophy of “conscience education” and affirming the educational philosophy of “Christianity”, “liberalism” and “internationalism”, Doshisha's integrated educational system adapts to the particular stage of development of each school within the Doshisha to ensure the steadfast deployment of comprehensive education embracing intellect, morality and physical strength. Our aim is to develop people who can live fulfilling lives by their conscience; that is to say people with an autonomous and independent spirit who are humanitarian and have a deep respect for the individual; people of integrity and strong morals, who can show creativity on the international stage.



Number of Full-time faculty:811

Number of Full-time stuff:352




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