Toyo University began as a private “Philosophy Academy” founded by Dr. Enryo Inoue in 1887. In light of the then-confused state Japan found itself in following the introduction of Western influences, Dr. Inoue offered a view of education that proposed that the basis of all learning lay in philosophy. Through the teaching of philosophy grounded in fundamental and logical thought, he aimed to enrich society by increasing the capabilities of the common people to engage in such intellectual activities as contemplation, conception, and judgment. In particular, advocating “Integrating Knowledge and Virtue,” he was committed to the development of “human resources” (the view of people as “the riches” of society) with not only academic knowledge but also rich human qualities, that is, people who could think, make judgments, and act with autonomy. In a manner of speaking, he broadly advocated to the public a nation built upon education, following the teaching of philosophy. At the time, there were quite a few educators who advocated the founding of a nation based on industrial models, and so Dr. Inoue became a prominent figure.
Toyo University has continued to preserve its founding spirit and, thanks to the support of many, continues to expand today. With approximately 30,000 students, it has become a large-scale general university consisting of 11 faculties with 44 departments, 10 graduate schools offering 32 majors, and the Law School. In each and every one of its faculties and graduate schools, the educational goals and philosophies relating to the collective cultivation of individual minds are established based upon the spirit with which the university was founded. In addition, efforts are devoted toward the development of promising individuals who are inherently capable of careful, logical, and systematic thought followed by appropriate judgment and action and who can independently contribute to society.
Toyo University places emphasis on three pillars: “Philosophy Education” relating to its founding spirit, “Globalization” that responds to contemporary needs, and “Career Preparation” that supports individual students so that they can achieve genuine self-actualization. Having marked its 125th anniversary in 2012, the university aims to develop educational activities based on these three pillars that meet the needs of a globalized and borderless age. It is also involved in educational reforms to further enhance and reinforce these pillars. Regarding “Globalization” in particular, great efforts are made to develop educational activities that are internationally compatible and to vitalize international research and exchange. Recently, the number of partnerships with universities overseas has increased dramatically and research activities have been actively conducted on a global scale at the International Research Center for Philosophy, the Research Center for Public/Private Partnership (PPP), the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre, and other research institutes. One such effort is the establishment in September 2012 of the International Association for Inoue Enryo Research, which aims to re-evaluate the philosophy and achievements of Inoue Enryo, the founder of the university, from a broad perspective.
The current objectives of Toyo University are to have all students gain the capacity to survive in a 21st century borderless global community and help them acquire advanced ways of thinking and common sense norms that are valued internationally, regardless of whether they will work at home or overseas. We are currently devoting all our energies to achieve these objectives, which are our top priority. In 2014, we were fortunate to have one of our international programs selected to be part of the Top Global University project organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. In association with this, we are working positively to increase classes taught in English, expand overseas training and internship programs, send our students to overseas universities, accept an increasing number of international students, and internationalize our campuses. Through these efforts, we fulfill the mission of the university in modern society, which is to cultivate people with sufficient basic knowledge, expertise, language skills, skills for living in society, and the abilities to understand and utilize the insights of other cultures and understand and share their own culture; that is, people who can contribute to the building of a healthy civil society and a just global community.
Today’s global community is faced with a number of critical issues, such as environmental problems, the gap between rich and poor, other poverty-related issues, and regional conflicts. In addition, since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, Japan has faced serious and vital issues of its own, such as how to bring about the creative revival of affected areas and the reconstruction of Japan as a whole. At Toyo University, serious research activities are being pursued to help resolve these issues and thereby contribute to building the foundation for a rich life for future generations. These research activities are appropriately reflected in the educational activities offered to our students.
Another objective that Dr. Enryo Inoue in his day pursued was the provision of learning opportunities to a wide range of people. The Philosophy Academy was among the first to establish an external faculty system of learning, equivalent to today’s distance education. The Toyo University of today continues that tradition and offers a diverse range of study and research opportunities, including evening courses, distance learning, and university extension lectures, allowing people to acquire a university education under a variety of different conditions and providing opportunities for lifelong learning. It also organizes the Professor Dispatch Program, through which our instructors can be dispatched to anywhere in Japan at the university’s expense. We intend to maintain and develop this system. In AY 2013, the Inoue Enryo Philosophy School was inaugurated to train young global leaders under the mentorship of a rich array of instructors. Meanwhile, because the university first opened its doors to women in 1916—making it the first private university in Japan to do so—the year 2016 marks our 100th anniversary of coeducation. To celebrate, we plan to hold memorial events and at the same time offer stronger support for the realization of a gender-equal society through university-wide efforts.
Currently, Toyo University has campuses located in Hakusan, Asaka, Kawagoe, and Itakura. Seeking to become an institution that can contribute to the development of local communities, at each and every campus we cooperate closely with others in the wider region and promote abundant opportunities for exchange between local residents and our students and faculty members.
Toyo University thus takes pride in its history and past accomplishments while at the same time still striving for the expansion of various types of knowledge and the development of cutting-edge new knowledge that can deeply and profoundly respond to the many and broad challenges of our era. The entire university takes upon itself the social mission to pass on the knowledge needed for the current era and develop individuals able to readily meet the needs of today.
These form part of the objectives that Toyo University is currently pursuing. At the university’s 125th anniversary ceremony held on November 3, 2012, I made the following declaration for our future: “We hereby declare to the future that Toyo University will abide by its roots of teaching the practice of philosophy, and not only promote world-class education, research, and social contribution activities, but also strive to become a globally acclaimed university. Our board of directors, faculty, administrative staff and students will work as one with the alumni to achieve this goal. Mindful of this day we embark on our journey to the future, we take joy in delivering Dr. Inoue’s noble ideal to the generations to follow, with the aim of establishing Toyo University as a staunch contributor to the future of the world, we hereby declare that we will take the initiative to create new history as we continue to evolve to further heights.” (Declaration for the Future: A Vow Made at Toyo University’s 125th Anniversary Ceremony)
Now, as we look ahead to our 150th anniversary, we are intensely aware of this long-term vision for the future that we laid out as we celebrated our first 125 years. We will continue to work toward an even higher quality of education by the further outfitting and development of educational and research environments in terms of both hard infrastructure, such as facilities and equipment, and soft infrastructure, including study programs. I sincerely hope the university will continue to attract a large number of individuals with various goals and purposes who will further learn from one another before going on to contribute to the global community.
September 11, 2015
President, Toyo University