Rikkyo University
the seal of Rikkyo University
MottoPro Deo et Patria[1]
Motto in English
For God and Country
Religious affiliation
Anglican Church
EndowmentUS$435.1 million
(JP¥50.3 billion)
PresidentYangchoon Kwak[2]
Academic staff
608 full-time,
1,674 part-time[3]
Location, ,
Member ofTokyo 6 Universities
Rikkyo University, Tokyo
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 University's deviation value is in the top 10 in the ranking of private universities in Japan.[4]

Rikkyo Gakuin

Rikkyo Primary School, Rikkyo Ikebukuro Junior and Senior High School, and Rikkyo Niiza Junior and Senior High School are affiliated with Rikkyo Gakuin. They are all-male schools. The Rikkyo Gakuin is an educational institution, which includes Rikkyo University and other affiliated schools. The Rikkyo School in England, St. Margaret's Elementary School, St. Margaret's Junior & Senior High School, and St. Hilda's Junior & Senior High School are affiliated with the Rikkyo Gakuin. St. Margaret's Schools, also known as Rikkyo Girls' Schools, are all-female academic institutions, as is St. Hilda's.



Bishop Channing Moore Williams, Anglican missionary and founder of Rikkyo University
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[5] 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, 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[6]

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.[8]

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.[8] 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
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;[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

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.[14][15]


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


Graduate schools

Research laboratories

Center for Interdisciplinary Research institutes

Other research institutes


Ikebukuro Campus Mather Library
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.[18]

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.[19]

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.[20]


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.[21]

Rikkyo fields a strong program in women's lacrosse.


Recipients of honorary degrees

International exchanges

See also


  1. ^ "Message from the Dean". Archived from the original on 5 June 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  2. ^ Kwak, Yangchoon. "総長紹介 立教大学について". Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Rikkyo Data". Rikkyo University Data. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  4. ^ 立教大学の偏差値
  5. ^ Hobart, Margaret (1912). Institutions Connected with the Japan Mission of the American Church. New York: The Domestic and Foreign Mission Society. p. 1.
  6. ^ a b Hobart, Margaret (1912). Institutions Connected with the Japan Mission of the American Church. New York: The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  7. ^ Hemphill, Elizabeth (1969). The Road to KEEP (First ed.). New York and Tokyo: John Weatherhill Inc. p. 14.
  8. ^ a b Hobart, Margaret (1912). Institutions Connected with the Japan Mission of the American Episcopal Church. New York: Domestic and Foreign Missions Society.
  9. ^ Hemphill, Elizabeth (1969). The Road to KEEP (First ed.). New York and Tokyo: John Weatherhill Inc. p. 13.
  10. ^ Ion, Hamish (2003). Mullins, Mark (ed.). Handbook of Christianity in Japan. Leiden: Brill. p. 86. ISBN 90-04-13156-6.
  11. ^ "Reform of Rikkyo University, November 2, 1945, Asahi, in Press Translations Japan, Social series, No. 1, Item 4, Pages 3, ATIS, G2, SCAP, November 5, 1945". Dartmouth Digital Library. 2 Nov 1945. Retrieved 26 Oct 2015.
  12. ^ Hemphill, Elizabeth (1969). The Road to KEEP (First ed.). New York and Tokyo: John Weatherhill Inc. p. 97.
  13. ^ Harasawa, Susumu. "Experience of decommissioning the Rikkyo University Reactor". IAEA. International Atomic Energy Association. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Rikkyo Chosen as a "Global Hub" University". Rikkyo University. MiB Program. Archived from the original on 17 December 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Selection for the FY2014 Top Global University Project" (PDF). Ministry of Education (MEXT). Government of Japan. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  16. ^ Business, Rikkyo University College of. "Rikkyo University College of Business". cob.rikkyo.ac.jp. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". rikkyo.ac.jp. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Rikkyo University Press Release". Rikkyo University. Rikkyo University. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  19. ^ http://english.rikkyo.ac.jp/research/library/ (accessed 10 February 2010)
  20. ^ http://english.rikkyo.ac.jp/aboutus/profile/data/ (accessed 10 February 2010)
  21. ^ http://www.koshienbowl.jp/2009/info/kantob.html (accessed 10 February 2010)
  22. ^ Redmond, Chris. "Renison goes to China; hosts Japanese students on campus". Daily Bulletin - Thursday, August 12, 2010. University of Waterloo. Retrieved 14 August 2014.

Coordinates: 35°43′50″N 139°42′14″E / 35.7305°N 139.7040°E / 35.7305; 139.7040