Ritsumeikan University (立命館大学, Ritsumeikan Daigaku, abbreviated to Rits and 立命 Ritsumei) is a private university in Kyoto, Japan, that traces its origin to 1869. With the Kinugasa Campus (KIC) in Kyoto, and Kyoto Prefecture, the university also has a satellite called Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (BKC) and Osaka-Ibaraki Campus (OIC).
Today, Ritsumeikan university is known as one of western Japan's four leading private universities. "KAN-KAN-DO-RITS" 関関同立 (Kwansei Gakuin University, Kansai University, Doshisha University, and Ritsumeikan University) is the abbreviation that refers to the four leading private universities in the region (of 20 million people). Ritsumeikan University is well-known for its International Relations and Science & Engineering departments. Ritsumeikan University has exchange programmes with schools throughout the world, including The University of British Columbia, The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, University of Hong Kong, King's College London and The University of Manchester. Ritsumeikan also currently offers a dual bachelor's degree program and dual master's degree programme in collaboration with American University.
Ritsumeikan University Panthers is a top-ranked American-style collegiate football team in Japan and has won three national championships, seven collegiate championships, and nine conference championships.
Ritsumeikan was first founded as a private academy in 1869 by Prince Saionji Kinmochi. In 1900, Kojuro Nakagawa (the former secretary of Prince Saionji) established the Kyoto Hosei School, a law school that eventually adopted the Ritsumeikan name (with the prince's permission) and was awarded full university status in 1922. Historically, the school was seen as a liberal alternative to the state-run Kyoto University.
Some die young, as some live long lives. This is decided by fate. Therefore, one's duty consists of cultivating one's mind during this mortal span and thereby "establishing one's destiny". (in Japanese, 立命, ritsumei)
In Kita-ku, Kyoto, this liberal arts-oriented campus is a roughly five-minute walk from Ryōan-ji and Kinkaku-ji temples. The campus has eight graduate schools, 17,000 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate students.
In Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto. This campus houses the School of Law, Graduate School of Management, and Graduate School of Public Policy, in addition to the Ritsumeikan Academy headquarters.
Biwako-Kusatsu Campus is in Kusatsu, Shiga. This technology-oriented campus is southeast of Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan, and is a 30-minute train ride from Kyōto Station. The campus has four undergraduate colleges, four graduate schools, 16,000 undergraduates and 1,600 graduate students.
The Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (立命館 アジア 太平洋 大学, Ritsumeikan Ajia Taiheiyō Daigaku) is a private institution inaugurated April 2000 in Beppu, Ōita Prefecture, Japan. Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University was made possible through the collaboration of three parties from the public and private sectors: Oita Prefecture, Beppu City and the Ritsumeikan University. APU has an enrollment of just under 6,000 students. Approximately half of the students and faculty members come from overseas.
The university has supported an American football rules team since 1953. The team has won three national championships, seven collegiate championships, and nine conference championships.
Established in April 2005 on the Biwako-Kusatsu Campus, work at this center focuses on disaster mitigation using sensor systems and computer networks.
Located at Kinugasa Campus, this center houses the Digital Humanities Center for Japanese Arts and Cultures, which focuses on research on Japanese art and culture using digital archives, databases and geographical information systems.
The Kyoto Museum for World Peace seeks to critically examine Japan's militaristic past, and includes numerous exhibits ranging from the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5 to the Iraq War.
Famous people affiliated with Ritsumeikan University, including graduates, former students, and professors:
A full list of partner institutions of Ritsumeikan University can be found on the website.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
University of Science and Technology of China
Dongbei University of Finance and Economics
Dalian University of Foreign Languages
California State University, Monterey Bay
University of Southern California
Ohio Northern University (ONU)
Oklahoma City University
University of Alabama
University of Washington
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
University of Minnesota
University of Oklahoma
Florida International University
University of North Texas
University of Hawaii
SOAS, University of London
King's College London, University of London
University of Edinburgh
University of Warwick
The University of Manchester
University of Sheffield
University of Leeds
Some staff at Ritsumeikan University are represented by the General Union, a member of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW), which is itself a member of the National Trade Union Council (Zenrokyo).