Sophia University, Yotsuya, Tokyo, c. 1930.



1930sSchools/Universities
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Sophia University, Kojimachi, Yotsuya, c. 1930.

Sophia University (cover), c. 1930. The cover artwork displays the Germanic Jesuit origins of the school, featuring a stylization of the Prussian imperial eagle. Within the eagle are the initials “LV”, for the Latin Lux Veritatis (Light of Truth), the school’s motto.

From the wiki: “Sophia University (Jōchi Daigaku) is a private Jesuit research university in Japan, with its main campus located near Yotsuya station. Sophia University was founded by Jesuits in 1913. It opened with departments of German Literature, Philosophy and Commerce, headed by its German founder Hermann Hoffmann (1864–1937) as its first official president. Sophia University takes its name from the Greek Sophia meaning ‘wisdom’. Its Japanese name, Jōchi Daigaku, literally means ‘University of Higher Wisdom’. Sophia is ranked as one of the top private universities in Japan.

“Sophia University continued to grow by increasing the numbers of departments, faculty members and students, in addition to advancing its international focus by establishing an exchange program. Many of its students studied at Georgetown University in the United States as early as 1935. Sophia’s junior college was established in 1973, followed by the opening of Sophia Community College in 1976. With the founding of the Faculty of Liberal Arts in 2006, Sophia University presently holds 27 departments in its eight faculties.”

“In 1932, a small group of Sophia University students refused to salute the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine in the presence of a Japanese military attache, saying it violated their religious beliefs. The military attache was withdrawn from Sophia as a result of this incident, damaging the university’s reputation. The Archbishop of Tokyo intervened in the standoff by permitting Catholic students to salute the war dead, after which many Sophia students, as well as Hermann Hoffmann himself, participated in rites at Yasukuni. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples later issued the Pluries Instanterque in 1936, which encouraged Catholics to attend Shinto shrines as a patriotic gesture; the Vatican re-issued this document after the war in 1951.”

Sophia University students on a field trip to General Nogi‘s house, Akasaka, c. 1930.

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