Historical Episodes

In response to the ordinance for vocational colleges, Toyo University opened its doors for the first to women in 1916. According to the Women’s Newspaper (Fujo Shimbun) on May 19, 1916, “A young woman has been commuting to Toyo University in Haramachi, Koishikawa District since last month. She has not missed a class, and she arrives at the entrance gate 15 minutes before classes begin. To reach the university building, she passes through the junior high school grounds, where many students are playing. Her countenance is composed, and the students view her with respect and not ridicule.” The name of this woman is Tsune Kuriyama. She graduated from the Japanese Literature Department, and later became a teacher at Tokyo Prefectural No. 5 Junior High School. She was the first woman in Japan to work at a junior high school for boys.

Hakusan Literature Movement (1918)

In 1918, the “Toyo University Literature Collegium” was established by students, and later this association was opened to people outside the university. Leaders in the fields of literature and public debate, such as Katai Tayama, Toson Shimazaki, Junichiro Tanizaki, Takeo Arishima, and Testsuro Watsuji were invited to give public discourses and summer literatur lectures, indicating that the Toyo University literary era had begun. Many literary magazines including “Hakusan Shijin” and “Hakusan Bungaku” were published. The “Nantendo Bookstore”, which is still located at Mukougaoka Bunkyo District today, included the cafe “Lebanon” on the second floor, and the Publishing Department was on the third floor. At that time, young writers such as Fumiko Hayashi, Shinpei Kusano, Chiyo Uno, and Jun Tsuji frequented the area. Students from Toyo University joined them, and “Lebanon” on the second floor of the Nantendo Bookstore was where young aspiring writers and poets gathered and exchanged ideas.

Influence of Katsu Kaishu (1889)

In 1889, Enryo Inoue was greatly influenced by the famous politician, Katsu Kaishu. Kaishu’s daughter and her husband arranged the marriage for Enryo and his wife Kei. Kei graduated from the Tokyo Teacher Training Institute for Women (currently Ochanomizu University) in 1880 and later became a teacher. In 1886, she married Enryo. One day, Enryo was asked to visit Kaishu’s private home in Akasaka. Kaishu was 67 years old at that time and Enryo was 31. Enryo brought his prospectus, “The Future of the Philosophy Academy” emphasizing the need to spread philosophy. Kaishu was greatly impressed by this young man, and encouraged and supported Enryo monetarily and by his calligraphy drawings. Katsu Kaishu also encouraged Enryo to give lecture tours throughout Japan and to use the money from these tours to build the university.

Enryo Inoue's Monument Trail (1890)

Enryo Inoue made lecture tours throughout Japan for 27 years, from 1890 to 1919. The main themes of the lectures were stories from his three journeys around the world, mystery tales, and Buddhism. With the monetary donations contributed by those who attended the lectures, Enryo Inoue built Toyo University and the Philosophy Hall. After the lecture tours by Enryo Inoue, monuments to him were built by local people at the following locations, and are still in existence today.

Kushima City, Miyazaki Prefecture; Fukushima-Cho, Matsuura City, Nagasaki Prefecture; Gero-Cho, Mashita-Gun, Gifu Prefecture; Habu Port, Izu Oshima, Tokyo; Kusatsusan, Kousen Temple, Yakushido, Gunma Prefecture; Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture; Dairyu Temple, Oga City, Akita Prefecture

In addition to these, there may still be some undiscovered monuments. If you have any information, please let us know.