Photo: Outside the Original Rikkyo Campus at Tsukiji

management education at Rikkyo

140 years of tradition

Rikkyo University has one of the longest traditions of teaching and research in the field of management and business administration of any university in Japan. Here is an overview of our history from a business education perspective.

a timeline

of management education at Rikkyo
  • 1874

    Establishment

    Rikkyo University was founded in 1874 by Bishop C. M. Williams, a missionary sent to Japan by the Episcopal Church of the United States.
  • 1922

    Accredited

    In 1922, Rikkyo University was accredited as a university under the Japanese Imperial University Order and the College of Commerce was formally launched in the same year.
  • 1949

    Post war university

    Rikkyo was accredited as a university under the new post-war educational system.
  • 1949

    Dept. of Management established

    The College of Commerce was reorganised in 1949 as the Department of Management within the College of Economics along with two other Departments: the Department of Economics and the Department of Accounting.
  • 2006

    College of Business established

    Department of Management and Department of Industrial Relations relocated and amalgamated into the College of Business
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Rikkyo University was founded in 1874 by Bishop C. M. Williams, a missionary sent to Japan by the Episcopal Church of the United States. In 1922, Rikkyo University was accredited as a university under the Japanese Imperial University Order and the College of Commerce was formally launched in the same year. In 1949, Rikkyo was accredited as a university under the new post-war educational system.

Photo: Original Buildings in the Tsukiji area of Tokyo

The College of Commerce was reorganised in 1949 as the Department of Management within the College of Economics along with two other Departments: the Department of Economics and the Department of Accounting. Twenty years later, in 1969, the Department of Industrial Relations was established within the College of Social Relations.

Two distinct yet complementary traditions in management education

The Department of Management and the Department of Industrial Relations reflected an evolution in the teaching of business management at Rikkyo University. In the closely regulated and carefully planned economy of postwar Japan, business management was coordinated within the context of economic and industrial policy. The high levels of economic growth and expansion during the period made business management a concern not only of business people but of economic planners and those entrusted with developing industries. It was logical therefore to locate a Department of Management within the College of Economics.

Photo: Designs of the Tokyo Ikebukuro campus

A decade later however, the human side of economic development became ever more apparent in Japan and the perception of a growing gap between the interests of the public as opposed to that of the nation became a key issue of the day. Within this context, labor relations, the quality of working life, and motivation in the workplace became critical management issues to ensure the further development of business in Japan. The next phase of management education at Rikkyo University became, therefore, the establishment of a Department of Industrial Relations which would specialise in these areas. Over the next several decades, these two departments continued to teach management in parallel with each other and in accordance with their distinct approaches.
During this time of course, Japan continued in its development and in the face of increasing globalisation and industrial diversity. Against this backdrop, corporations found themselves in need of leaders who could take the initiative to plan and implement strategies in situations vastly more varied, dynamic and interdependent than those of the past.
In order to better serve the needs of industry, corporations, communities, social entities, and future generations of business leaders, Rikkyo University initiated a project aimed at amalgamating the two existing departments and renewing them to pursue education in business with an a emphasis on ethics, leadership and an international outlook. Several years of debate culminated in the formal initiation of this project in 2005 and in the establishment of the College of Business (COB) in 2006.

2006: a year of consolidation and renewal

Along with new recruited faculty members, the existing faculty of the two departments together with their student bodies, came together to form the COB. As the pre-2006 students progressed through their educational programmes and on to graduation, their positions were filled by new cohorts of business students who, unlike those in the past, were now admitted directly into a college dedicated entirely to the discipline of business. The COB therefore enjoys a rich legacy and long tradition in business education that rivals that of any other college of business in Japan at present.

The COB currently offers undergraduate programmes in two departments, the Departments of Business and Global Business, leading to a single Bachelor in Business undergraduate degree. It also offers three postgraduate programmes. Two research oriented general postgraduate programmes leading to a Master in Business and a Ph.D. in Business, and a practically oriented programme which is the Master of International Business.

MiB News Editorrikkyo-about-history