Dr. Enryo Inoue studied the works of various philosophers, and selected four wise thinkers as symbols of philosophy in the East and West and in ancient and modern times. He distinguished between Western Philosophy and Oriental Philosophy, further dividing the latter into Chinese and Indian philosophy. As a representative of Chinese philosophy, he chose Confucius and as a representative of Indian philosophy, he included Buddha. Ancient Western philosophy is embodied by Socrates. Kant represents philosophy in the modern era. Dr. Enryo Inoue called these four philosophers the Four Sages.
A relief of the Four Sages is installed as a symbol of Toyo University on each campus at the library entrance, and in the foyer of the Inoue Enryo Memorial Hall.
The Philosophy Ceremony dedicated to the Four Sages was held for the first time in October of 1885 after Dr. Enryo Inoue graduated from Tokyo University. On this occasion, a portrait of the four philosophers was enrolled before teachers and students from the Philosophy Department of Tokyo University. Later, the Philosophy Ceremony was held on the grounds of the Philosophy Academy (predecessor of Toyo University). Today, the ceremony is still performed every year on the first Saturday in November in the Temple Garden of Philosophyin the Nakano Ward of Tokyo.
Dr. Enryo Inoue requested Hashimoto Gaho to paint this scroll in 1895.