Founding Spirit and Joseph Hardy Neesima
Neesima learned the Christian conceptions of conscience
and liberty during his stay in America.
Upon returning to Japan and establishing Doshisha,
he defined them as the Doshisha spirit.
In the late Edo period, the founder of Doshisha, Joseph Hardy Neesima, felt serious concern about Japan’s future, and as a consequence left Japan in 1864, defying a ban on travel overseas. He studied in America and Europe for about 10 years, and came back to Japan baptized. In Kyoto, on November 29th, 1875, he established Doshisha Eigakko（Academy）, the predecessor of Doshisha University, with the aid and cooperation of many people from home and abroad. Neesima aimed to create an institution for pursuing higher education with Christianity at the core of a moral education. He wanted to nurture independent and self-reliant individuals with an international way of thinking. Since its foundation, people who felt empathy with Doshisha's educational philosophy and who were determined to be‘the conscience of the nation’, have gathered at Doshisha and together built a unique tradition and liberal school spirit. Today, more than 300,000 graduates play an active role in various fields throughout the world, carrying with them the pride and conviction instilled in them while studying at Doshisha.