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Foundation of Keio University


Yukichi Fukuzawa lecturing a Francis Wayland text:
The Elements of Political Economy
(by YASUDA, Yukihiko 1910)

Keio has a proud history as Japan’s very first private institution of modern higher learning. It was founded in 1858 by Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901), as a school for Dutch Learning in Edo (present-day Tokyo). Later, recognizing the importance of English, Fukuzawa reorganized his school to focus on English studies. When a new school building was established in 1868 after several relocations, Fukuzawa renamed his school Keio Gijuku, after the name of the present Keio era (1865-1868) and with the Japanese word gijuku, meaning a private school. In 1871, Keio moved to Mita, where the Faculty of Economics is located today.

Foundation of the Faculty of Economics

The precursor to the modern Faculty of Economics was founded in 1890 as the first higher education department in Japan to promote economic research. The Faculty of Economics, together with the Faculty of Letters and the Faculty of Law, are Keio’s first departments and the only three established under the direct supervision of Yukichi Fukuzawa.

A Leading Research University in Japan

Keio University is a private, comprehensive higher educational institution located on six campuses spread across the Greater Tokyo area. It offers an environment of academic and research excellence across a wide range of fields, and is recognized both domestically and internationally for its quality as a research university. In 2014, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology selected Keio University, along with twelve leading universities in Japan, for the Top Global University Project, a national initiative to enhance the competiveness of Japanese universities and raise their global academic reputation.

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