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Waseda University

A Japanese statesman who served as the prime minister, Shigenobu Okuma founded Waseda University, then called Tokyo Senmon Gakko, on October 21, 1882. In the first class, 80 students enrolled in the Departments of Political Science, Law, English, and Physical Science. With wishes that the students of Waseda to be altruistic and help others in need, his words were, “Be ambitious to contribute to the world without regard to the benefits yourself, family, or your country.”On Waseda University’s 30th anniversary in October 1913, President Shigenobu Okuma proclaimed its newly adopted Mission Statement. As the fundamental statement of its educational policy, the mission was drafted by Sanae Takata, Shoyo Tsubouchi, Kenkichi Ichijima, Kazutami Ukita, Yasukuni Matsudaira and their colleagues, and approved by Okuma before its presentation at the anniversary celebration. In 1937 a monument inscribed with the mission statement, in calligraphy by Hisoka Maejima, was installed near the main gate. “Waseda University holds as its founding principles the preservation of the independence of scholarship, the promotion of the practical application of scholarship, and the fostering of good citizens.Holding the independence of scholarship as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to contribute to the scholarship of the world by regarding freedom of research as essential and devoting itself constantly to original research. Holding the practical application of scholarship as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to contribute to the progress of the times by establishing a path for the practical use of scholarship as well as pursuing theoretical research for its own sake. Holding the fostering of good citizens as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to cultivate people of character who can respect individuality, develop themselves and their families, benefit the nation and society, and be active in the world at large.”