Founding Philosophy

Updated on Sep 02 2008

Following the Meiji Restoration, our nation’s most pressing task was to catch up with the advanced nations of the world. In the rush to absorb Western thought, culture, and systems, the tendency to view Westernization as a cure for all ills spread throughout Japan and people became increasingly unable to look back at Japan’s traditional thought and cultural heritage.

On the other hand, however, Japan was able to achieve independence, and the realization began to grow that in order to ensure the nation’s future development, its thought, culture, and systems ought not to be mere imitations of those of the West, but ought rather to be based on Japan’s own history and national characteristics. This growing realization was what lay behind the establishment, in 1882, of Kokugakuin University’s parent organization, Koten Kokyusho.

On the day of the opening ceremony, November 4, Prince Takahito Arisugawa-no-Miya, the first director of Koten Kokyusho, read out the following Official Proclamation (provided here in the original Japanese

「凡學問ノ道ハ本ヲ立ツルヨリ大ナルハ莫シ故ニ國體ヲ講明シテ以テ立國ノ基礎ヲ鞏クシ徳性ヲ涵養シテ以テ人生ノ本分ヲ盡スハ百世易フベカラザル典則ナリ而シテ世或ハ此ニ暗シ是レ本黌ノ設立ヲ要スル所以ナリ」

The idea of “inquiry into fundamentals” in the Official Proclamation provided the basis for Kokugakuin University’s founding philosophy. The lyrics to Kokugakuin University’s official anthem, which were penned by former president Yaichi Haga, represent a precise interpretation of this spirit, and it is this spirit of our university’s founding philosophy that differentiates our approach to academic research and humanistic education.

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