Established as the Meiji Law School in 1881, the university was founded amidst Japan’s rapid development into a modern industrial nation in the 19th century, and was an institution established with the purpose of educating the future leaders of Japan. Its founders were three lawyers, Tatsuo Kishimoro, Kozo Miyagi and Misao Yashiro, and although it started as a small institution it is today one of the largest universities in the country.
The university is now comprised of ten academic schools and 16 graduate schools, as well as a junior school and a high school. Alongside the main campus, known as Surugadai Campus, there are three other smaller campuses, namely Izumi Campus, Nakano Campus and Ikuta Campus, all of which are located in the capital Tokyo.
Meiji University is also part of Japan’s Global Universities program, established by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology (MEXT), which aims to enhance the reputation of Japan’s leading public and private universities. Meiji University is one of 37 of Japan’s universities involved with the project.
The university also has a notable sporting record – the Meiji University baseball team is part of the Tokyo Big Six league and competes against other teams from top universities located around Tokyo, with a championship title win coming in 2013. Other popular sports at the university include rugby and judo.
Three former Japanese Prime Ministers were educated at Meiji University, including Takeo Miki, Tomiichi Murayama and Zhou Enlai. Other famous graduates include lyricist Yu Aku, martial artist Masaaki Hatsumi and manga artist Hideki Arai.