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Ritsumeikan University

Ritsumeikan University
Zonshinkan is a building on the Kinugasa Campus.
Former names
Kyoto Hosei School
Motto Beyond Borders
Established 1900 (chartered 1922)
Type Private
President Yoshida Mikio
Academic staff
Undergraduates 32,280
Postgraduates 2,089
Other students
1,194 (International)
Location Kyoto (Kyoto), Kusatsu (Shiga), Ibaraki (Osaka), Japan
Campus Kinugasa & Suzaku (Kyoto), Biwako-Kusatsu (Kusatsu, Shiga), OIC (Ibaraki, Osaka)
Colours           Crimson and White
Sports Ritsumeikan Panthers
Mascot Panthera pardus
Affiliations APSIA, INU, Global 30, Kansai Big 6
As of May 2013[1]

Ritsumeikan University (立命館大学 Ritsumeikan Daigaku, abbreviated to Rits and 立命 Ritsumei) is a private university in Kyoto, Japan, tracing its roots to 1869. With the Kinugasa Campus(KIC) in Kyoto, and Kyoto Prefecture. the university also has a satellite called Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (BKC).

Today, the university is known as one of the four leading private universities in western Japan. KAN-KAN-DO-RITS 関関同立 (Kwansei Gakuin University, Kansai University, Doshisha University, and Ritsumeikan University) is the abbreviation that many people refer to when talking about the four leading private universities in the region (of 20 million people). The school is one of the top universities in Japan, and it is especially well known for its International Relations programme which has been ranked as first place in Japan. Moreover, in today’s newspaper, it is listed as the ‘top private university in Japan for policy science’. It has exchange programmes with many schools throughout the world, including The University of British Columbia, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, University of Hong Kong and King's College London. The school also has a dual bachelor's degree program and dual master's degree programme offered in collaboration with American University, and a dual bachelor's degree programme offered in collaboration with The University of British Columbia. It has a relatively strong network of alumni in Kansai region and has produced a number of CEOs in Japanese companies as well as politicians.

Ritsumeikan University Panthers is a very strong collegiate football team in Japan and won three national champions, seven collegiate champions, and nine conference champions.


  • History 1
  • Colleges and graduate schools (by campus) 2
    • Kinugasa Campus 2.1
    • Suzaku Campus 2.2
    • Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (BKC) 2.3
  • Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University 3
  • Athletics 4
    • American Football 4.1
  • Facilities 5
    • Research Center for Disaster Mitigation Systems 5.1
    • Art Research Center 5.2
    • Museums 5.3
    • SR center 5.4
  • Controversy 6
  • Notable people associated with Ritsumeikan 7
  • List of partner universities 8
    • Australia 8.1
    • China 8.2
    • Singapore 8.3
    • Indonesia 8.4
    • South Korea 8.5
    • Canada 8.6
    • United States 8.7
    • United Kingdom 8.8
    • France 8.9
    • Finland 8.10
    • Spain 8.11
    • Saudi Arabia 8.12
  • Unions 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Ritsumeikan was first founded as a private academy in 1869 by Prince Saionji Kinmochi. In 1900, Kojuro Nakagawa (the former secretary of Prince Saionji) established the Kyoto Hosei School, a law school that eventually adopted the Ritsumeikan name (with the prince's permission) and was awarded full university status in 1922.[2] Historically, the school was seen as a liberal alternative to the state-run Kyoto University.

The name "Ritsumeikan" comes from a Mencius quotation:

Some die young, as some live long lives. This is decided by fate. Therefore, one's duty consists of cultivating one's mind during this mortal span and thereby "establishing one's destiny". (in Japanese, 立命, ritsumei)

The "kan" addition to "ritsumei" signifies a place.

Colleges and graduate schools (by campus)

Kinugasa Campus

The Ritsumeikan Charter
Nakagawa Kaikan building on the Suzaku Campus
Rohm Plaza of Biwako Kusatsu Campus
Saionji Memorial Hall (Kinugasa Campus, Kyoto, Japan)
Zonshinkan Hall (Kinugasa Campus, Kyoto, Japan)

In Kita-ku, Kyoto, this liberal arts-oriented campus is a roughly five-minute walk from Ryōan-ji and Kinkaku-ji temples. The campus has eight graduate schools, 17,000 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate students.[3]

  • Colleges (学部)
    • College of Law (法学部)
    • College of Social Sciences (産業社会学部)
    • College of International Relations (国際関係学部)
    • College of Policy Science (政策科学部)
    • College of Letters (文学部)
    • College of Image Arts and Sciences (映像学部)
  • Graduate Schools (大学院)
    • Graduate school of Law (法学研究科)
    • Graduate school of Sociology (社会学研究科)
    • Graduate school of International Relations (国際関係研究科)
    • Graduate school of Policy Science (政策科学研究科)
    • Graduate school of Letters (文学研究科)
    • Graduate school of Science for Human Services (応用人間科学研究科)
    • Graduate school of Language Education and Information Science (言語教育情報研究科)
    • Graduate school of CoreEthics and Frontier Sciences (先端総合学術研究科)
  • Institute at Kinugasa Campus (インスティテュート)
    • Inter-faculty Institute for International Studies (国際インスティテュート)
      • International Law & Business Program (国際法務プログラム)
      • International Civil Service Program (国際公共プログラム)
      • International Community Program(国際社会プログラム)
      • International Welfare Program (国際福祉プログラム)

Suzaku Campus

In Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto. This campus houses the School of Law, Graduate School of Management, and Graduate School of Public Policy, in addition to the Ritsumeikan Academy headquarters.

  • Graduate Schools (大学院)
    • Graduate School of Management (経営管理研究科)
    • Graduate School of Public Policy (公務研究科)
  • Schools (専門職大学院)
    • School of Law[4] (法務研究科)

Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (BKC)

Biwako-Kusatsu Campus is in Kusatsu, Shiga. This technology-oriented campus is southeast of Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan, and is a 30-minute train ride from Kyōto Station. The campus has four undergraduate colleges, four graduate schools, 16,000 undergraduates and 1,600 graduate students.

  • Colleges (学部)
    • College of Economics[5] (経済学部) The College of Economics offers three programs pertaining to Economic Strategy, Economic Cooperation and International Economics, and Human Welfare and Economic Conditions. The curriculum integrates theory, history, and knowledge of the current state of affairs in a structured approach on a domestic and foreign scale.
    • College of Business Administration[6] (経営学部)
    • College of Science and Engineering (理工学部)
    • College of Information Science & Engineering (情報理工学部)
    • Integrated Institute of Arts & Science (文理総合インスティテュート)
    • College of Life Sciences (生命科学部)
    • College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (薬学部)
  • Graduate schools (大学院)
    • Graduate School of Economics[7] (経済学研究科)
    • Graduate School of Business Administration (経営学研究科)
    • Graduate School of Science and Engineering (理工学研究科)
    • Graduate School of Technology Management[8] (テクノロジー・マネジメント研究科)
  • Institute at BKC (インスティテュート)
    • Integrated Institute for Arts and Science
      • Environment & Design Institute (環境・デザインインスティテュート)
      • Finance Institute (ファイナンス・情報インスティテュート)
      • Service Management Institute (サービス・マネジメントインスティテュート)

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

The Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (立命館 アジア 太平洋 大学, Ritsumeikan Ajia Taiheiyō Daigaku) is a private institution inaugurated April 2000 in Beppu, Ōita Prefecture, Japan. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University was made possible through the collaboration of three parties from the public and private sectors: Oita Prefecture, Beppu City and the Ritsumeikan University. APU has an enrollment of just under 6,000 students. Approximately half of the students and faculty members come from overseas.


American Football

The university has supported an American football rules team since 1953. The team has won three national championships, seven collegiate championships, and nine conference championship.


Art Research Center

Research Center for Disaster Mitigation Systems

Established in April 2005 on the Biwako-Kusatsu Campus, work at this center focuses on disaster mitigation using sensor systems and computer networks.

Art Research Center

Located at Kinugasa Campus, this center houses the Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures, which focuses on research on Japanese art and culture using digital archives, databases and geographical information systems.


The Kyoto Museum for World Peace seeks to critically examine Japan’s militaristic past, and includes numerous exhibits ranging from the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5 to the Iraq War.

SR center

Located at BKC campus, this center is established for research using Synchrotron Radiation.[9]


As of 2006, Ritsumeikan University and the General Union were in dispute over a contract system that limited employment for some educators to three years.[10]

Notable people associated with Ritsumeikan

Famous people affiliated with Ritsumeikan University, including graduates, former students, and professors:

List of partner universities

A full list of partner institutions of Ritsumeikan University can be found on the website.[11]


Macquarie University
The University of Sydney
The University of Melbourne
The University of Queensland
The University of Western Australia


Peking University
Tsinghua University
Fudan University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
University of Science and Technology of China
Dongbei University of Finance and Economics


National University of Singapore (NUS)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)


Gadjah Mada University
University of Indonesia
Padjajaran University
Institut Teknologi Bandung
Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta

South Korea

Seoul National University
KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology
Korea University
Inha University
Dongguk University
Yonsei University


Simon Fraser University
University of British Columbia
University of Alberta

United States

American University
University of Southern California
Georgetown University
Ohio Northern University (ONU)
Oklahoma City University
Rutgers University
University of Alabama
University of Washington
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
University of Minnesota
University of Oklahoma
Florida International University
University of Hawaii[12]

United Kingdom

SOAS, University of London
King's College London, University of London
University of Edinburgh
University of Warwick
The University of Manchester
Cardiff University


École Normale Supérieure
École Polytechnique
Strasbourg University
Aix-Marseille University
Paris Diderot University


University of Helsinki


Autonomous University of Barcelona

Saudi Arabia

King Abdulaziz University
Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University


Some staff at Ritsumeikan University are represented by the General Union, a member of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW), which is itself a member of the National Trade Union Council (Zenrokyo).[13]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ [1] Archived December 21, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^
  5. ^ [2] Archived October 10, 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • Ritsumeikan University (English)
  • Ritsumeikan Asian Pacific University
  • Profiles of Faculties
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