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About Doshisha University

Imadegawa campus Imadegawa campus Kyotanabe campus Kyotanabe campus

Doshisha University was founded in 1875 by Joseph Hardy Neesima (Jo Niijima) as Doshisha Eigakko (Academy) with 8 students and 2 teachers. Born as a son of a samurai during the final years of the Edo period, Neesima saw an urgent need to study in the West, so he risked his life to leave Japan, and studied in the U.S. In those days, traveling overseas was strictly prohibited by the Tokugawa authorities. He studied at Phillips Academy, Amherst College, and Andover Theological Seminary and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Amherst College. It is said that he is the first Japanese person to receive a degree from a Western institution of higher learning. After his return to Japan, he founded the predecessor of Doshisha University, which is now one of the oldest private institutions of higher learning in Japan.