Rikkyo University

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Rikkyo University
Rikkyo University seal.png
MottoPro Deo et Patria [1]
Motto in English
For God and Country
Type Private
Religious affiliation
Anglican Church
Endowment US$435.1 million
(JP¥50.3 billion)
President Yangchoon Kwak [2]
Academic staff
608 full-time,
1,674 part-time [3]
Undergraduates 19,481 [3]
Postgraduates 1,231 [3]
Location, ,
Campus Urban
Member of Tokyo 6 Universities
Affiliations AALAU
Website www.rikkyo.ac.jp
Rikkyo University, Tokyo Rikkyouniversityt-top-Tokyo-2013-4-1.jpg
Rikkyo University, Tokyo

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


Rikkyo is known as one of the six leading universities in the field of sports 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 140 educational institutions abroad for the purpose of exchanging lecturers, students and projects. With more than 700 students from outside Japan, the institution has 20,000 students, and 2,700 teachers and staff members.

Rikkyo Gakuin

Rikkyo Primary School, Rikkyo Ikebukuro Junior School, Rikkyo Ikebukuro Senior High School, Rikkyo Niiza Junior School, Rikkyo Niiza Senior High School are affiliated with the Rikkyo Gakuin.

The Rikkyo Gakuin is an educational institution, which includes Rikkyo University and other affiliated schools. The Rikkyo School in England, St. Margaret's School and St. Hilda's School are related with the Rikkyo Gakuin.



Bishop Channing Moore Williams, Anglican missionary and founder of Rikkyo University Channing Moore Williams.jpg
Bishop Channing Moore Williams, Anglican missionary and founder of Rikkyo University

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 Williams' home in the foreign settlement in Tsukiji, Tokyo. Initially five students came to study with the resident missionaries. By the end of the first year this number had grown to 55 with as many as 46 living in a dormitory rented by the school.

Fire devoured the first school buildings in 1876. With funding from the Domestic and Foreign Mission Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church and, in 1880, a new principal, James McDonald Gardiner [4] to supervise, new three-story brick facilities with an imposing 60-foot spire were constructed.

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tsukiji, temporary home for the college after the 1894 earthquake Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tsukiji.jpg
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Tsukiji, temporary home for the college after the 1894 earthquake

In 1891, Gardiner resigned from the management of the school and was succeeded by Rev. Theodosius Stevens Tyng. [5] 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 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. 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. [6] The college was temporarily housed in Trinity Parish House, and by 1896 new buildings including an academic hall and student dormitory were ready for occupation. [5]

In 1897, the Rev. Arthur Lloyd became president of the University. The 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 navigated the school through a turbulent six years as the Japanese Ministry of Education sought to curtail any religious instruction in the curriculum of government-approved schools. As only in the dormitories at Rikkyo was any religious instruction given, the school was able to retain its license. [7]

In 1903, the Rev. Henry St. George Tucker succeeded Rev. Lloyd as president. In 1905 the school reported a male student enrollment of 573 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. [7] The Rev. Charles S. Reifsnider succeed Rev. Tucker in 1912 when the latter took up his new post as Bishop of Kyoto.

New campus and elevation to university status

New Ikebukuro Campus main building, 1925 Rikkyo University1925,.jpg
New Ikebukuro Campus main building, 1925

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 fires that destroyed much of the center of the city.

Until the 1920s almost all classes at Rikkyo were held in English; [8] Japanese language textbooks were made more widely available toward 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, the 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. [9]

In September 1942, university trustees agreed to change the wording of the charter to sever all ties with Christianity. The majority of Christian faculty members lost their positions and the University All Saints Chapel was closed.

Post-war period

At the end of World War II in October 1945 the U.S. Occupation authorities moved swiftly to remove head officials associated with the teaching of militarism and the violation of the university's founding charter. [10] The university re-established its links with the Anglican Church in Japan. With the support of former faculty such as Paul Rusch, they began to restart classes, re-hire faculty, and rebuild. [11]

Women were admitted to 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. [12]

A second suburban campus in Niiza, Saitama for first- and second-year 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.

Recent developments

In September 2014, the Japanese Ministry of Education announced that Rikkyo University had been selected as a “Global Hub” university and will now receive special strategic government funding to support its global education programs. [13] [14]


Rikkyo University, Main Building (No. 1), Ikebukuro Campus 2018 Rikkyo University 3.jpg
Rikkyo University, Main Building (No. 1), Ikebukuro Campus
Rikkyo University, Buildings 11 and 15, Ikebukuro Campus Rikkyo University, Bldg. 11, 15.jpg
Rikkyo University, Buildings 11 and 15, Ikebukuro Campus


Graduate schools

Research laboratories

Center for Interdisciplinary Research institutes

  • Institute for American Studies
  • Institute for Leadership Studies
  • Centre for Asian Area Studies
  • Japan Institute of Christian Education (JICE)
  • Institute for Latin American Studies
  • Institute of Social Welfare
  • Institute of Tourism
  • St. Paul's Institute of English Language Education
  • Rikkyo Institute of Church Music
  • Rikkyo Economics Research Institute
  • Institute for Japanese Studies
  • Rikkyo Wellness Institute
  • Rikkyo Institute for Business Law Studies
  • Rikkyo Institute for Legal Practice Studies
  • Rikkyo Institute for Global Urban Studies

Other research institutes

  • Rikkyo Institute for Peace and Community Studies
  • Education for Sustainable Development Research institutes


Ikebukuro Campus Mather Library Li Jiao Da Xue Chi Dai kiyanpasuTu Shu Guan Ben Guan (Jiu Guan )02.JPG
Ikebukuro Campus Mather Library

The Old Main Library, or Mather Library, in the group of historic red brick buildings at the university's main entrance, was built in 1918. The original building was named in memory of Samuel Mather an American industrialist and long-time sponsor of Episcopal Church overseas mission work. Funds for the original building were donated by Mather in memory of his father. Further funding was also provided by him in 1925 to finance the repairs to the building in the wake of the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. [17]

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 house specialist collections of the Protestant Episcopal Church and Edogawa Rampo. [18]

Ikebukuro campus

Niiza Campus


Rikkyo is a co-educational university. As of 2009, female students outnumber male students overall; male students outnumber female students at the graduate level. [19]


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, and the local community.

World Congress


Rikkyo's baseball team plays in the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League. They have won 12 league championships in their history.

Rikkyo's American football team plays in Japan's division one in the Kanto B conference. Their record was 3-4 in 2009. [20]

Rikkyo fields a strong program in women's lacrosse.


Recipients of honorary degrees

International exchanges

See also

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  1. "Message from the Dean" . Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  2. Kwak, Yangchoon. "総長紹介 立教大学について" . Retrieved 25 May 2020.
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Coordinates: 35°43′50″N139°42′14″E / 35.7305°N 139.7040°E / 35.7305; 139.7040