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Short Message from the Director

I would like to provide a brief introduction to the Harris Science Research Institute which was established in April 2015.

Joseph Hardy Neesima, the founder of Doshisha, obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science as the first Japanese person to graduate from an undergraduate program in the United States. After returning to Japan, he established Doshisha Academy, Doshisha Girls’ School and the Harris Science School. The Harris Science School was named after American businessman J. N. Harris, who sympathized with Neesima’s passion and made a large donation. With this contribution, Harris Science Hall (now designated as a national important cultural property) was established 125 years ago and the Harris Science School opened at the same time.

The Harris Science School was at that time probably the only institution in Japan equipped as a facility for education and research in Western natural sciences. It is easy to imagine that the opening of the Harris Science School made an immense impact on the education, research, culture and society of Kyoto and Japan. Continuing the tradition, the previous Science and Engineering Research Institute was restructured and renamed as the Harris Science Research Institute in 2015.

The Harris Science Research Institute is located on the Kyotanabe Campus, which is home to six faculties and six graduate schools specializing mainly in natural sciences. Also known as Creative Hill, the campus consists of an unconventional group of faculties and graduate schools that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Its site is about 64 times as large as that of Koshien stadium. Six faculties and six graduate schools participate in the Harris Science Research Institute, located on the Kyotanabe Campus.

It has been 125 years since the Harris Science School played a pioneering role in education and research in Western natural sciences in Japan. Now it is the turn of the Harris Science Research Institute to consider and suggest a new role for the university campus and the future direction that science should take. We launched the Harris Science Research Institute with the hope of creating and developing new natural sciences that are unique to Doshisha and free from conventional views, together with society, in this new era of the 21st century.