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Ritsumeikan University
Honshu, Japan


University description (as per official university website)

Ritsumeikan has become an integrated academy with a rich culture of individuality and international awareness accommodating a total of 49,000 students. The current Ritsumeikan Academy has campuses in Kyoto, Shiga, Hokkaido, and Oita and encompasses two universities, four high schools, four junior high schools, and one primary school. Ritsumeikan fosters the learning and development of individual talents in order to nurture just and ethical global citizens.

The history of Ritsumeikan dates back to 1869 when Prince Kinmochi Saionji, an eminent international statesman of modern Japan, founded "Ritsumeikan" as a private academy on the site of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. In 1900, Kojuro Nakagawa, former secretary of Prince Saionji, established Kyoto Hosei School, an evening law school that was open to working people. This school formally adopted the name Ritsumeikan in 1913 and was finally given the status of a university in 1922.

Suzaku Campus (Kyoto)

Established in September 2006 as a local and global center of knowledge, the campus hosts several diverse and high level professional graduate schools as well as the Ritsumeikan Academy headquarters.

The School of Law aims to cultivate internationally-minded legal professionals equipped to meet present-day challenges. The Graduate School of Management produces management professionals with an acute sense of strategic purpose and a high level of practical skill. The innovative Graduate School of Public Policy trains capable professionals with the skills that will be indispensable for the changes in 21st century industrial structure that will be brought about by globalization, computerization, the declining birthrate and an aging population.

Kinugasa Campus (Kyoto)

The Kinugasa Campus is located in northwestern Kyoto, a 1200 year old city rich in culture and art. Representative of Japanese learning and culture, Kyoto is a center for universities and university students. Kinugasa Campus is surrounded by such auspicious temples as Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, Ninnaji, and Tojiin, a suitably tranquil setting for research and learning.

Kinugasa consists of six colleges (Law, Social Sciences, International Relations, Policy Science, Letters, and Image Arts and Sciences) and eight graduate schools (Law, Sociology, International Relations, Policy Science, Letters, Science for Human Services, Language Education & Information Science, and Core Ethics & Frontier Sciences). The campus offers a comprehensive curriculum in the humanities and social sciences. The Inter-Faculty Institute for International Studies is also located at Kinugasa Campus.

Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (BKC), Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture

Kusatsu City is located in Shiga Prefecture northeast of Otsu City, at the southernmost edge of the Omi Valley. During the Edo Period Kusatsu prospered, being located at the crossroads of the great Tokaido and Nakasendo highways. Presently it is a center for machine technology and is the prefecture’s number one industrial city as well as the hub of real estate, economy and transit, south of Lake Biwa.

The Biwako-Kusatsu Campus is southeast of Lake Biwa. BKC houses six colleges (Economics, Business Administration, Science & Engineering, Information Science & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Pharmaceutical Sciences) and four graduate schools (Economics, Business Administration, Science & Engineering, and Technology Management). BKC also accommodates the Integrated Institute of Arts & Science.

Beppu City, Oita Prefecture

In order for students to be able to live and learn in an international environment, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University was founded in April 2000. With approximately half of its students coming from 81 different countries and regions, APU is a “multicultural community.” APU takes the following as its ethos: “freedom, peace, and humanism,” “international mutual understanding,” and the “creation of the future of the Asia Pacific.”

Ritsumeikan Junior and Senior High School (Kyoto)
Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School (Uji, Kyoto Pref.)
Ritsumeikan Keisho Junior and Senior High School (Ebetsu, Hokkaido)
Ritsumeikan Moriyama Junior and Senior High School (Moriyama, Shiga Pref.)
Ritsumeikan Primary School (Kyoto)

The Ritsumeikan Trust offers a comprehensive education from primary school through to graduate school, aiming to foster leaders for the globalized, information intensive society of the 21st century. Our nine affiliate schools keep in close contact with our post-secondary institutions, and provide information education and international education programs, including exchange activities with people of different cultures.
Kyoto Hosei School, an evening school of law and politics,
established by Kojuro Nakagawa
The history of Ritsumeikan dates back to 1869 when Prince Kinmochi Saionji, an eminent international statesman of modern Japan, founded "Ritsumeikan" as a private academy on the site of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. In 1900, Kojuro Nakagawa, former secretary of Prince Saionji, established Kyoto Hosei School, an evening law school that was open to working people. This school formally adopted the name Ritsumeikan in 1913 and was finally given the status of a university in 1922.

The school spirit of liberalism and internationalism advocated by Prince Saionji was combined with the ideals of academic freedom and vivacity pursued by Kojuro Nakagawa, and became a tradition of the university. This tradition also survived the intense suppression of the prewar days, as evidenced by the fact that Ritsumeikan University accepted seventeen professors who were forced by the government to leave Kyoto Imperial University for their pacifist activities.

After World War II, Ritsumeikan adopted the educational philosophy of peace and democracy, faithful to the spirit of the Japanese Constitution and the Education Fundamental Law. In 1948, Ritsumeikan became one of the first Japanese universities to be reorganized under the new education system. Ritsumeikan carried out extensive reforms to ensure democratic administration of the university to better serve society as an educational institution open to the public.

In the 1990s, with the changes leading to a globalized information society, each faculty went through curriculum revisions to accommodate the global complexities and innovations now affecting higher education. One significant part of these changes was the introduction of the international education programs such as the Five-Week Intercultural Programs; the One-Year Program; the Academic Exchange Program with the University of British Columbia (UBC); and the Dual Undergraduate Degree Program/Dual Masters Degree Program with American University. As a result of these programs and the extensive global network Ritsumeikan has developed, the university now has one of the largest international student bodies in western Japan, offering numerous invaluable overseas study opportunities to its students.

Today, Ritsumeikan University offers a wide range of courses in advanced studies at its Kinugasa Campus in Kyoto and Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (BKC) in Shiga. The year 2000 marked the 130th anniversary of the founding of the Ritsumeikan private school and the 100th year of the establishment of Ritsumeikan University. In April 2000, the 100th anniversary of its establishment, Ritsumeikan opened an international educational institution, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) in Oita prefecture. The addition of APU has given new momentum to Ritsumeikan as it continues to adhere to its founding spirit into the 21st century. Over the century, the Ritsumeikan Trust has evolved into a comprehensive educational institution consisting of two universities, three senior high schools and three junior high schools.

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