Doshisha and Joseph Hardy Neesima

Joseph Hardy Neesima, founder of Doshisha, and the history of Doshisha International Junior and Senior High School

Brief History of Joseph Hardy Neesima 

Joseph Hardy Neesima

Joseph Hardy Neesima

Joseph Hardy Neesima was born in 1843, in Joshu (current Gunma prefecture) at the residence of Annaka Domain in Edo. From his younger days, he learned Dutch. His secret yearning for a foreign country grew while Japan was still in the Sakoku period, when it was legally prohibited to believe in Christianity or to travel abroad. Unable to contain his eagerness to venture the world, in 1864, risking his own life, Neesima took his first step into the world boarding a ship to America. Having support from Mr. and Mrs. Hardy, who warmly accepted Neesima into their family as a “foster child,” Neesima studied at Phillips Academy, Amherst College, and Andover Theological Seminary deepening his knowledge on Christianity and education.

After Neesima returned to Japan in 1874, he met Kakuma Yamamoto, who was the counselor of Kyoto Prefecture at that time, also a brother of his future wife Yae. Together with Professor Davis, the three of them processed a plan of building a school in Kyoto with education based on Christianity. On November 29, 1875, Doshisha Academy was established.

Neesima’s ambition and the establishment of Doshisha

Doshisha’s Chapel

Doshisha’s Chapel

The name “Doshisha” means “An association of people bonded together who share the same ambition and heart.” Neesima devoted his life to education based on Christianity to engage students in freedom, independence, and conscience. Neesima’s commitment to educating pupils together with people who share the same ambition was what drove Neesima forward against the control based school education which was the major school education in Japan at the time. However regrettably, illness took Neesima’s life in 1890 when he was 47, without him seeing his dream take shape.

After Neesima’s death, colleagues, students, and supporters who followed his spirits carried out his will and helped Doshisha prosper into a school now with 2 universities, 4 junior and senior high schools, 2 elementary schools, 1 kindergarten, and 1 international school. It all started with 8 students and 2 teachers including Neesima himself. The students who have graduated from Doshisha take active roles in various fields such as politics, economy, religion, education, agriculture, social science, and many more around the globe.

History of Doshisha International Junior and Senior High School

  1. 1875 Doshisha Eigakko (Academy) is founded.
  2. 1920 Doshisha University is established.
  3. 1980 Doshisha International Senior High School is established.
  4. 1988 Doshisha International Junior High School is established.
  5. 1997 Communication Center opened its doors.
  6. 2010 30th Anniversary for Doshisha International Junior and Senior High School

Symbol Mark

Symbol Mark

The symbol mark is made from three triangles which describe “country” or “earth” in ancient Assyria. Each triangle symbolizes Intellect Education(知), Moral Education (徳), and Physical Education (体). The balance of these three triangles expresses the ideal human behavior.