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Kyoto and Doshisha University

Kyoto: Where Traditional Meets Modern

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Since it was founded in 1989, KCJS has been based in Kyoto. KCJS offers students the unique opportunity to study and live in a culturally rich environment and to explore the heart of Japan.

As the country’s old capital, Kyoto is brimming with historical monuments, temples and shrines that you may have read about in history textbooks or in works by distinguished authors such as Murasaki Shikibu, Kawabata Yasunari, Tanizaki Junichiro and Mishima Yukio. These places are embedded in everyday Kyoto life. As a Kyoto resident and through field trips in your subject courses, you will develop a special affinity for and a more nuanced understanding of the breadth and depth of their history. Kyoto is also the center of traditional arts and crafts such as Nishijin brocade, Kyo ningyo (dolls) and Kiyomizu porcelain that reflect the beauty of Japanese culture and the highly refined skills of local artisans.

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While traditional styles remain strong, Kyoto also has a modern face. In department stores and specialized shops throughout the city, you can observe firsthand how traditional arts and crafts incorporate modern tastes. Kyoto cuisine also stems from traditional roots, but exhibits a contemporary flair. Cafés, bakeries, restaurants, and izakaya abound, so you will have a wealth of choices from which to sample local delicacies and also keep up with current food trends.

With its unique atmosphere in which the present and the past are interwoven, and where peaceful, serene sites of historical and religious significance are nestled amongst vibrant, contemporary shopping and dining districts, Kyoto is an exceptionally welcoming and comfortable place that you will come to call home.

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About Doshisha University

Location

Doshisha University’s Imadegawa campus, where KCJS is located, is bounded on the south by the Kyoto Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) and to the northeast by the renowned Shokoku-ji Temple. There is a subway station (Karasuma-Imadegawa) directly underneath the campus, which makes your commute and trips to the city center very easy. City buses regularly stop in front of the campus, too.

KCJS is housed in the Fusokan building on the Imadegawa campus of Doshisha University. KCJS students have access to on-campus facilities including the main library, computer labs, cafeteria, and university Co-op bookstore, stationery shop, travel agency, and convenience store.

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(left) Clarke Memorial Hall, one of the historic buildings on the Doshisha campus
(right) Fusokan building, where KCJS is located

History

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Originally established in 1875 as Doshisha Eigakko (Academy) by Joseph Hardy Neesima, Doshisha University has always been regarded as one of the top private universities in Japan. Neesima studied at Phillips Academy and Amherst College after defying an overseas travel ban and leaving for the United States in 1864. After graduating from college, he entered a seminary and learned the importance of conscience and liberty according to Christian values. With this experience, Neesima returned to Japan with a strong ambition to establish a Christian university. Neesima died in 1890, at the age of 46, without fulfilling his dream, but others who shared his ambition finally established Doshisha University in 1912.

Currently, Doshisha University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. The university comprises 14 undergraduate programs, 31 departments, The Center for Japanese Language and Culture, and 16 graduate schools including two professional schools (the law school and graduate school of business), and has a student body of over 29,000 students. Some of these students enroll in KCJS subject classes in the afternoons, and also participate in our conversation partner exchange program. Moreover, as a KCJS student, you may also have the opportunity through our Community Involvement Project or “CIP” to participate in a Doshisha “circle” or university club, and get to know your Japanese peers while also polishing your Japanese conversational skills.

With the opening in April 2013 of Doshisha’s “Learning Commons” in the new Ryoshinkan building adjacent to the Fusokan, KCJS students now have state-of-the-art areas for individual and group study with remarkable technological innovations, and it is possible to eat and study in the “Info Diner” section of this new space. The Ryoshinkan also houses multiple student lounges, a new café/bakery, a large bookstore, a convenience store, travel agency, and a significantly expanded cafeteria with more abundant food choices (including a salad bar). In addition, there are two new open plaza areas just outside the Ryoshinkan building with some tables where students can sit and socialize. Aside from these sites on campus, there are also multiple places immediately nearby where one can sit or stroll on a nice day, for example on the grounds of the Imperial Palace.

For more information about Doshisha University, please visit the official website.

(clockwise from top left) Ryoshinkan (view from Karasuma-dori), inside of Ryoshinkan, Multimedia Lounge in Learning Commons, one of the open plaza areas

(clockwise from top left) Cafeteria, beverage section of the convenience store, bookstore, snack section of the convenience store

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Comments from alumni about living and studying in Kyoto


“KCJS was still one of the most wonderful times of my life. Part of it was Kyoto itself—it is a city filled with a high level of artistic study, celebration, and exploration pervading its entire historical existence, and the importance of this one city to ideas in art is never-ending. If you want to be involved in the arts at KCJS, you merely need to exist in Kyoto and you will form a thousand connections that stay with you for your life, and I have lived out dreams because of them. The immersive study of and fluency in the Japanese language, too, is a pretty rare thing for any student, and that too continues to be valuable throughout my work and life nearly a decade later.” – KCJS 15 (2003-2004)

“My year in Kyoto was a gift—a year of intense study in a magical city. The year really solidified my language skills and gave me the confidence to spend the first few chapters of my career in Asia.” – KCJS 05 (1993-1994)

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OFFICE OF GLOBAL PROGRAMS/COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Office of Global Programs

606 Kent Hall
Columbia University
1140 Amsterdam, Mail Code 3948
New York, NY 10027 USA
Tel: 212-854-2559
Fax: 212-854-5164
Email: ogp@columbia.edu

Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies 京都アメリカ大学コンソーシアム

Doshisha University, 2F Fusokan
Karasuma Higashi-iru, Imadegawa-dori
Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8580 JAPAN

602-8580
京都市上京区今出川通烏丸東入
同志社大学 扶桑館2F

Tel: 075-251-4995
Tel: (+81-75-251-4995)
Fax: 075-229-6300
Fax: (+81-75-229-6300)
Email: fs2244@columbia.edu