Joseph Hardy Neesima was a person who acutely sensed the changing times during the turbulent period from the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate to early Meiji, and acted according to his own judgment of what he should do without fear of the government. After returning from America, Neesima became determined to change Japan through “cultivation of people who use their abilities as conscience dictates” based on Christianity, and for that he planned to create an educational environment that encourages students’ independent thinking and actions. The idea to change society through education, and the determination to establish a school pursuing “education of conscience” in particular, must have been considered revolutionary in Japan in the 1870s. Continuing Neesima’s purpose, Doshisha University has been devoting its effort to education and research for fostering people who act according to their own judgment of what to do based on conscience, and people who tirelessly pursue their dream or high aspirations. You may find it difficult to fully understand Neesima’s mindset during your time at the university, but we believe that the more you become aware of your position in society, and the more you age, the more you will deepen your understanding of it and come to share that mindset. Being aware of yourself continuing learning along with Neesima even after graduation will make you keep growing. I think that is the human education that Doshisha University strives to pursue.
In practicing human education, Doshisha University puts emphasis on the linkage between education and research and on fostering creativity in individual students. At its basis is our founding spirit, “education of conscience,” and adherence to our three educational philosophies. “Liberalism” is to value individuality, “Christian principles” are to respect and love others, and “Internationalism” is to see and understand the world with a broad perspective. Based on these philosophies, we conduct education and research in a liberal environment that respects individuality, producing graduates who play an active role in various fields of society. This is Doshisha University’s identity that has been maintained throughout its history.