The Ritsumeikan Academy is one of the private comprehensive educational institutions in Japan with rich history and tradition, and we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Ritsumeikan private school and the 120th year of the establishment of the Academy in 2020. The Academy has now become a comprehensive educational institution with two universities, four high schools, four junior high schools and one primary school.
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 School of Law and Politics, 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 innovation pursued by Nakagawa, and became a tradition of the Academy.
Today, the Ritsumeikan Academy is highly admired by society as the educational institution which actively promotes the university reform. Such spirit of innovation and inspiration is simply based on the Academy’s school spirit, “freedom and innovation.”