Located in Kyoto, Japan's ancient imperial capital, The Doshisha was founded by Joseph Hardy Neesima of the Class of 1870, the first Japanese to graduate from a Western institution of higher learning. Neesima stowed away aboard a clipper ship from Japan while it was still officially "closed." From the China Coast he eventually arrived in New England in 1865 aboard a ship owned by Alpheus Hardy who was a trustee of both Phillips Academy, Andover, and Amherst College.
After graduating from both Andover and Amherst, Neesima returned to Japan to found a Christian college in Kyoto. From this modest start The Doshisha has developed into a University of 19,000 students, a separate (but adjacent) Women's College, four senior and three junior high schools, and a kindergarten, with a total enrollment of approximately 30,000 students on four different campuses. The Doshisha is one of the oldest and best known private educational institutions in Japan.
Through the generosity of alumni and friends of the College, Amherst House, a New England Georgian style residence, was built on the Doshisha campus in 1932 as a memorial to Neesima and to Stewart Burton Nichols of the Class of 1922, the first student representative. It houses some twenty Doshisha students and serves as a center for cultural exchange between faculty and students from East and West. Since 1958, a graduating senior has been selected as the Amherst-Doshisha Fellow to live in Amherst House and teach English for one year. Over forty Amherst graduates and numerous Amherst Faculty have taught at The Doshisha.
In 1962 the College, thanks to further generosity of friends and alumni, built a Guest House of modern Japanese design, which includes well-appointed guests suites and dining facilities to enhance the possibilities of cultural exchange.
The six faculties and various institutes of Doshisha University include a Center for American Studies. The environs of Kyoto are among the finest in Japan for the study of classical art and architecture. Since 1976 an arrangement with Doshisha University has been established which permits a member of one of Doshisha's six Faculties (Theology, Letters, Law, Economics, Commerce, Engineering) to spend a year's leave at Amherst. Faculty members interested in the possibility of visiting Kyoto or of doing academic research in Japan, based at The Doshisha, should consult with the President, Dean of the Faculty, or the Doshisha Committee.
The Doshisha University