Keio University, abbreviated as Keio or Keidai is a private university located in Minato, Tokyo. It is known as the oldest institute of higher education in Japan. Founder Fukuzawa
Yukichi originally established it as a school for Western studies in 1858 in Edo (now Tokyo). It has eleven campuses in Tokyo and Kanagawa. It has ten faculties: Letters,
Economics, Law, Business and Commerce, Medicine, Science and Technology, Policy Management, Environment and Information Studies, Nursing and Medical Care, and Pharmacy.
The university is one of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s thirteen “Global 30” Project universities. In the United States, Keio has a
high school called “Keio Academy of New York”.
Keio traces its history to 1858 when Fukuzawa Yukichi, who had studied the Western educational system at Brown University in the United States, started to teach Dutch while he was
a guest of the Okudaira family. In 1868 he changed the name of the school to Keio Gijuku and devoted all his time to education. While Keiō’s initial identity was that of a private
school of Western studies, it expanded and established its first university faculty in 1890, and became known as a leading institute in Japanese higher education. It was the first
Japanese university to reach its 150th anniversary, celebrating this anniversary in 2008.
Keio has leading research centers. It has approximately 30 Research Centers located on its five main campuses and at other facilities for advanced research in Japan Keio
University has joined the MIT and the French INRIA in hosting the international W3C.
Fukuzawa stated the mission of Keio shown below, which is based on his speech at the alumni party on November 1, 1896.
Keio Gijuku shouldn’t be satisfied with being just one educational institution.
Its mission is expected to be a model of the nobility of intelligence and virtue,
to make clear how it can be applied to its family, society, and nation,
and to take an actual action of this statement.
It expects all students being leaders in society by the practice of this mission.
Those sentences were given to students as his will, and considered as the simple expression of Keio’s actual mission.
Academic culture Contributor to Japanese modern education systems
Keio is known for being the first institution to introduce many modern education systems in Japan. The followings are the examples.
Keio is the earliest Japanese school that introduced an annual fixed course fee, designed by Fukuzawa.
It initially introduced the culture of speech to Japan, which Japan had never had before. It built Japan’s earliest speech house Mita Speech House in 1875 as well.
It is regarded as Japan’s first university to accept international students. Keio accepted 2 Korean students in 1881 as its (and also Japan’s) first international students. 60
Korean students entered in 1883 and 130 Korean students in 1895.
Keio put “Independence and self-respect as a foundation of its education. This is meant to be physically and mentally independent, and respect yourself for keeping your
virtue.Independence and self-respect are also regarded as Fukuzawa’s nature and essence of his education.
Learning half and teaching half is the other unique culture in Keio.During the late Edo period and the early Meiji period, several private prep schools often used students as
assistant teachers and it was called “Learning half and teaching half”. Keio also had initially used this system. In the early period of such schools of Western studies, there had
been many things to learn not only for students but also professors themselves. Hence there had been sometimes the occasions that students who had learned in advance had taught
other students and even professors. After the proper legal systems for education had been set up, those situations have disappeared. However, Fukuzawa thought the essence of
academia was and is a continuous learning, and knowing more things provides more learning opportunities. Keio respects his thought and put the rule in “Rules in Keio Gijuku Keio
Gijuku Shachu no Yakusoku)” that there shouldn’t be any hierarchy between teachers and learners, and all of the people in Keio Gijuku are in the same company. For this reason,
there is still a culture in this university that all professors and lecturers are officially called with the honorific of “Kun” but never “Teacher” or “Professor”.
Shachu no Kyoryoku
Collaboration in a company is also a uniqueness of Keio. Fukuzawa stated in 1879 that the Keio’s success today is because of the collaboration in its company, and
“Collaboration in a company” originally came from this article. People in Keio often think that all of the people related to Keio (e.g. professors, students, alumni and their
family members) are the part of their company, thus they should try to help each other like brothers and sisters. This culture has been often seen especially in the alumni
organization called Mita-Kai.
Keio University was established in 1858 as a School of Western studies located in one of the mansion houses in Tsukiji by the founder Fukuzawa Yukichi.Its root is considered as
the Han school for Kokugaku studies named Shinshu Kan established in 1796.Keio changed its name as “Keio Gijuku” in 1868, which came from the era name “Keio”and “Gijuku” as the
translation of Public school.It moved to the current location in 1871, established the Medical school in 1873, and the official university department with Economics, Law and
Literacy study in 1890.
Keio has been forming its structure in the following chronological order.