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President’s Message

Takashi Irisawa President, Ryukoku University

Takashi Irisawa
President of Ryukoku University

Ryukoku University is committed to cultivate humans who can “Pursue the truth, Live for the truth, and Manifest the truth”.

Education at Ryukoku University will bring depth and breadth to students’ lives. During their life at Ryukoku University, students will come to realize how they have been looking at the world only through their colored glasses and what a small world they have been in.

Ryukoku University has a long history dating back to the Gakuryo (a Buddhist seminary) academy that was established in the precinct of Nishi-Hongwanji Temple in 1639. Therefore, Ryukoku University has the longest history of university education and research in Japan, spanning over 380 years.

Over the course of our long tradition, Ryukoku University has cultivated the trait of having a deep insight into human life, inspired by the way of life of Shinran Shonin who lived through the tempestuous Kamakura period and established the Jodo Shinshu sect. Since its inception, Ryukoku University has continuously adhered to the spirit of Jodo Shinshu as its founding spirit.

For young people, tradition may sound old-fashioned. However, tradition will not be sustained unless we apply its philosophy when we face the realities of society in our day to day life. As we live through the realities of life that are filled with contradictions and problems, our tradition continues to be renewed.

Ryukoku University’s trait to respect “innovation” and “ambition” is clearly born from its tradition. Creation of new opportunities for knowledge is one of the greatest features that Ryukoku University is proud of, as demonstrated by the great educational reformation during the Meiji period, the Otani Expedition known for its research exploration in the Silk Road, projects to promote advanced research during the post war period, and founding of the first Faculty of Science and Engineering, as well as the first Faculty of Agriculture in Buddhist universities in Japan. However, the greatest characteristic of Ryukoku University is its atmosphere to create an environment to live harmoniously with others.

On the 380th anniversary of Ryukoku University’s founding, the action philosophy "jisei rita(introspective altruism) was introduced as a key concept. It expresses our aspiration to act in a way that contributes to the well-being of others, while respecting our relationships with them, by constantly reflecting on ourselves and our existence (which is made up of countless "connections"). Today, the world is swirling with feelings of exclusivity. At Ryukoku University, we cultivate an altruistic philosophy that values all life. Altruism is the opposite of exclusivity, and its spirit has long been nurtured and transmitted by Buddhism. Each student who studies at Ryukoku University will be awakened to the importance of helping and supporting one another.

Takashi Irisawa
President, Ryukoku University