Rikkyo University

Rikkyo University (立教大学 Rikkyō daigaku?), also known as Saint Paul’s University, is a private university, located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan.

Rikkyo is known as one of the six leading universities in Tokyo (東京六大学 „Big Six“, Rikkyo University, University of Tokyo, Keio University, Waseda University Meiji University, and Hosei University). A leading liberal arts teaching and research institution, the university is the largest Anglican Christian affiliated university in Japan.

The university is internationally oriented and involved in numerous international programmes and projects. Rikkyo maintains contact with more than 70 educational institutions abroad for the purpose of exchanging lecturers, students and projects. With more than 700 students, come from outside Japan, the institution has 20,000 students, and 2,700 teachers and staff members.

Rikkyo Primary School, Rikkyo Ikebukuro Junior School, Rikkyo Ikebukuro Senior High School, Rikkyo Niiza Junior School, Rikkyo Niiza Senior High School are not affiliated with the Rikkyo University, but with the Rikkyo Gakuin. The Rikkyo Gakuin is an educational institution, which includes Rikkyo University and other affiliated schools. Also, Rikkyo School in England, St. Margaret´s School and St. Hilda’s School are related schools with the Rikkyo Gakuin.

The origins of the university date from the founding of St. Paul’s School for boys in 1874 by Channing Moore Williams, a missionary of the Episcopal Church and a leading figure in the establishment of the Anglican Church in Japan.

The school’s first classes were held in the home of Williams in the foreign settlement in Tsukiji, Tokyo. Initially five students came to study with the resident missionaries, but by the end of the first year this number had grown to fifty-five with as many as forty-six living in a dormitory facility rented by the school.

Fire devoured the first school buildings in 1876, but with funding from the Domestic and Foreign Mission Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and, in 1880, a new Principal, James McDonald Gardiner to supervise, new three-story brick facilities with an imposing 60-foot spire were constructed.

In 1891, Gardiner resigned from the management of the school and was succeeded by Rev. Theodosius Stevens Tyng. Simultaneous with the appointment of Rev. Tyng, the school’s name was changed from St. Paul’s School to St. Paul’s College, curriculum changes were introduced and a formal application was made for a government license. Enrollment jumped, but the school buildings at this time were in a poor state of repair and were condemned as unsafe by government inspectors. As President of the school Tyng immediately set off to the United States on a fundraising tour, but less than three weeks after his return to Tokyo an earthquake in 1894 leveled much of the original school facilities, highlighting the perils of building on reclaimed land next to the Sumida River. The college was temporarily housed in Trinity Parish House, but by 1896 new buildings including an academic hall and student dormitory were ready for occupation.

In 1897, the Rev. Arthur Lloyd became President of the University. The various Rikkyo schools experienced a rapid rise in student enrollment by virtue of the granting of a Government License exempting students from military service and granting them access to all Government established schools of Higher Education. Lloyd was successfully able to navigate the school through a turbulent six years as the Japanese Ministry of Education had sought to curtail any sort of religious instruction in the curriculum of government approved schools. As only in the dormitories at Rikkyo was any sort of religious instruction given, the school was able to retain its license.

In 1903, the Rev. Henry St. George Tucker succeeded Rev. Lloyd as University President. In 1905 the school reported a male student enrollment of five hundred and seventy-three and the need for larger school classroom facilities was acute. After another successful fundraising appeal new classrooms, an assembly hall and an office building were opened in 1907. The Rev. Charles S. Reifsnider succeed Rev. Tucker in 1912 when the latter took up his new post as Bishop of Kyoto.

In 1909, 23 acres of land were purchased near Ikebukuro for the construction of a larger dedicated campus and the university moved into new buildings at this site in 1919. The University Chapel was consecrated in 1920 and the university was officially chartered by the Ministry of Education in 1922.

The original, red-brick, campus buildings, designed by Murphy & Dana Architects of New York, suffered structural damage in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, but due to the university’s more suburban location escaped the devastating fires that destroyed much of the center of the city.

Until the 1920s almost all classes at Rikkyo were held in English, Japanese language textbooks only being made more widely available towards the end of the decade.

In the late 1930s and during the Second World War Rikkyo’s status as an Anglican Christian university came under severe pressure from the military authorities. In 1936, President of the University, Shigeharu Kimura, was forced to resign over allegations of disrespect during a required public reading of the Imperial Rescript on Education in the University Chapel. In September 1942, University trustees agreed to change the wording of the university’s charter to sever all ties with Christianity. The majority of Christian faculty members lost their positions and the University All Saints Chapel was closed.

At the end of the War in October 1945 the US Occupation authorities led by MacArthur moved swiftly to remove head officials associated with the teaching of militarism and the violation of the university’s founding charter. The university re-established its historic links with the Anglican Church in Japan and with the support of former faculty such as Paul Rusch began to restart classes, re-hire faculty and rebuild.

Women students were admitted for the first time to university degree programs in 1946.

A new library extension, designed by renowned Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, was completed in 1960.

With contributions from private donors, the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Japanese Ministry of Education, between 1961 and 2001 the university owned and operated a TRIGA 100Kw research reactor at Yokosuka, Kanagawa contributing the development of neutron radiography and energy research in Japan.

A second suburban campus in Niiza, Saitama for first and second year university students was established in 1990.

Building on existing undergraduate study programs, new graduate schools for Business Administration, Social Design Studies and Intercultural Communication were opened in 2002.

In September 2014, the Japanese Ministry of Education announced that Rikkyo University has been selected as a “Global Hub” University and will now receive special strategic government funding to support its global educational programs.

The Old Main Library, or Mather Library, located in the group of historic red brick buildings at the university’s main entrance, was built in 1918. The original library building was named in memory of Samuel Livingston Mather an American industrialist and long-time sponsor of Episcopal Church overseas mission work. Funds for the original building were donated by Samuel Mather in memory of his father. Further funding was also provided by Samuel Mather in 1925 to finance the cost of repairs to the building in the wake of the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake.

The university library buildings have been expanded over succeeding decades to include landmark buildings by Kenzo Tange and more modern structures to house collections containing over 1.7 million volumes of print and non-print materials. The university libraries also house specialist collections of the Protestant Episcopal Church and Edogawa Rampo.

Rikkyo is a co-educational university. As of 2009, female students outnumber male students overall; however, male students outnumber female students at the graduate level.

In common with most universities in Tokyo, Rikkyo holds an annual student-organized festival each Autumn. Known as the St. Paul’s festival, student clubs and societies provide entertainment, prepare food, organize sporting events and showcase academic work for the benefit of other students, prospective students, alumni as well as the local community.

Rikkyo’s baseball team plays in the Tokyo Big Six Baseball League. They have won 12 league championships in their history.

The following are famous alumni of St. Pauls: