Kobe College

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Kobe College
Emblem kc.png
The emblem of Kobe College
MottoLove thy God, love thy neighbor
Established1875 (1875)
PresidentKen Ii
Academic staff
84 full-time,
321 part-time
Location, ,
35 acres (0.1 km²)
the logo of Kobe College

Kobe College (神戸女学院大学, Kōbe jogakuin daigaku), abbreviated to KC, is a private non-sectarian liberal arts college located in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan. Chartered in 1948, it is the first women's college with university status in West Japan.


Since its foundation in 1875, Kobe College continues to provide a well-balanced education for women based on Christian principles. This is expressed in the school badge and color designed in 1885 by E.M. Brown, the third college president. The motif of the school badge is the honewort which expresses harmony of "body," "spirit," and "soul." The school color is dark blue which expresses "peace" and "truth."


1873: Eliza Talcott[1] and Julia Elizabeth Dudley,[2][3][4] two Congregational missionaries from Rockford, the US as members of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions,[5] opened a private school at Hanakuma-mura, Kōbe.
Eliza Talcott (May 22, 1836-November 1, 1911)
Julia Elizabeth Dudley (?, 1840-June 12, 1906)
1875: The two missionaries founded a boarding school for young women so-called "Kōbe Home" (神戸ホーム), on Yamamoto Street in Kōbe.
1879: Kōbe Home was renamed Kōbe Girls' School (女學校, jogakkō); the following year it was organized along a five-year (high school) curriculum, unique at that time. The school changed its name to Kōbe Eiwa-jogakkō (神戸英和女学校)."
1885: A one-year college division was established.
1891: A three-year curriculum in the college division initiated full-scale, higher education for women.
1894: Kōbe Eiwa-jogakkō was renamed Kobe College (神戸女学院, Kōbe jogauin).
1906: A Department of Music was founded.
1909: A four-year higher education division was founded.
1919: The higher education division was granted a permit to use the term university (大学, "daigaku") in its Japanese name.
1920: Charlotte B. DeForest,[6] the president of Kobe College, discussed the incorporated entity for fund raising to support the construction of a new campus, which is now on Okadayama. As an independent organization, the Kobe College Corporation is incorporated in Illinois, U.S.A.[7][8]

Kobe College graduate school[edit]

1933: The new campus is dedicated at Okadayama, Nishinomiya, Hyōgo Prefecture.
1965: A graduate course was established with two specialties: English literature and sociology.
1989: English literature specialty was installed.
2002: A course was established in comparison culturology specialty in last part of doctor.
The first school building was located on a hillside in Kōbe.


The College was originally located on Yamamoto Street in Kōbe, Japan. It is now located in Okadayama Town in Nishinomiya City on the Hankyu Train Line. The property was previously owned by the Sakurai family of the Matsudaira clan, a branch to the Shōgun family.

The original main buildings managed to withstand the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake of 1995 with far less damage than many recently built structures.[9][10]

When the College was relocated to the present Okadayama campus in 1933, Dr. William Merrell Vories, the leader of the Omi Mission[11] and renowned architect, designed the original buildings in accordance with the key principle: an architect's happiness lies in building beautiful buildings and bringing happiness to their users.[12] The architectural design on campus reflects this belief. The southern Mediterranean style buildings with ivory colored walls and bronze-colored tile roofs were reputed to be the most magnificent in the country.[9]


Dr. Vories designed for universities and many other education institutes including Kwansei Gakuin University and Doshisha University in Japan, and Ewha Womans University[13] in Seoul, South Korea. Main halls on the College's campus are unique among other such architecture as they have been designated as the important cultural properties by the Japanese government in 2014, while a few of Vories' architectures are registered tangible cultural property.

Science Hall

Roofs: roof tiles on the original Vories buildings are so unique in color and shape that it was very difficult to restore the roof after the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake in Kōbe.

Floors: Similarly, unlike most Japanese universities built around the same period, the floors are set with cut marble reflecting the architect's concept that those floors would absorb heat better and keep cooler temperatures in the summertime. Further, the floors have convex surface, or the edges of the floor is sloped so that cleaning would be easier.


There are 2,624 students on campus and 624 of them are freshmen. Kobe College has five departments: English, general culture, music, psychology, and Biosphere Sciences. Students, especially those who belong to general culture department, can learn a wide range of subjects in the first two years to find their interests and decide what to study in the next two years. At Kobe College, students can study in small classes; they can focus on their study and the relationship between students and teachers can be much closer.

Most of the students are from among the Kansai area that spans from Kōbe to Osaka and extend to Kyoto cities; however, there are some students who are from western Japan or other parts of Japan, and the College offers Mary and Grace Stowe Dormitories on campus for them with 179 single rooms.[14] Other students stay in apartments along the Hankyu Line.

The College has accepted international students.[15] Over 10 students from abroad are studying on campus this year. The College has exchange programs with overseas universities. Inbound students come from Australia and the United States. Every year outbound Kobe College students are sent over to the partner universities and affiliated Institutions.

Requirements for the undergraduate students are 124 credits over four years to complete the course. While they focus on studying, they enjoy other activities outside of school: for example, sports, music or art classes, group activities and a part-time job.

The rate of employment at popular companies is the highest among women's colleges in Kansai, or Kyoto-Osaka-Kōbe metropolitan area. The rate of employment in 2006 was 98.1%. Psychology students had 100% employment.

Affiliated Institutions[edit]

The College exchanges students with overseas educational institutions.[16]
United States



United Kingdom


South Korea



New Zealand


  1. ^ Eliza Talcott was a resident of Rockford, Illinois, USA. "Rockford College". Archived from the original on 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  2. ^ Julia Dudley was born in Naperville, Illinois, and graduated from the Rockford Female Seminary in Rockford, Illinois. "Rockford College". Archived from the original on 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2015-09-16..
  3. ^ In 1880 Dudley left Kōbe Eiwa-jogakkō and helped her cousin Martha J. Burrows to found Kobe Women's Seminary (神戸女子伝道学校, Kōbe joshi dendōgakkō) as Japan's first training school for female teachers. Takeuchi, Masao (2000). Far and Beyond: Story of Kobe Women's College of Theology. (Japanese). Kyobunkan. ISBN 4-7642-6549-4.
  4. ^ In 1887 Julia Elizabeth Dudley joined Missionary Nani B. Gaines (1860-1932) from Kentucky, U.S.A. "Miss Ganes and Alumnae Song". (Japanese). Retrieved 2015-09-16.CS1 maint: others (link) for further duties, though returned to the States with poor health in 1901. Died in Southern California in 1906. Taniguchi, Toshikazu (1986). Rest in Peace, Deciples: Story of Kobe Foreign Cemetery. (Japanese). Kobe Newspaper Publication. ISBN 4-87521-447-2.
  5. ^ "WHO WE ARE". KCC-JEE. Retrieved 2015-09-15.
  6. ^ Ward, Vanessa B. "Journeys in Thought: Takeda Kiyoko and the Promotion of U.S.-Japan Intellectual Exchange" (PDF). pp. 79, 85. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  7. ^ "Kobe College Corporation: Historical Timeline, 1920-2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-09-15. Kobe College Corporation, aka KCC-JEE, was also known as Kobe College Corporation - Japan Education Exchange. It started with members and friends of the Women's Board of Missions for the Interior.
  8. ^ In the 1920s, Rockford College opened the sister college relationship with Kobe College.
  9. ^ a b "Kōbe Jogakuin wo jūbun ni kennai gakkō kenchiku de hatsu: Bunkashin tōshin" [Cultural Committee reported that Kobe College designated as important cultural properties First in school buildings in prefecture]. Kobe Shimbun. 2014-05-16. Archived from the original on 2016-03-08. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  10. ^ 重要文化財指定の答申を受けて (Buildings on campus are designated as Important Cultural Properties). Mori Kōichi, Dean, Director of the Board, Kobe College (2014-05-16). "Jūyō bunkazai shitē no tōshin wo ukete" [Buildings on campus are designated as Important Cultural Properties] (in Japanese). Kobe College. Retrieved 2017-10-12.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Omi Mission was founded in 1910 and called originally Vories General Partnership Company which was inherited to Omi Brotherhood in 1934 "Company History". (Japanese). Retrieved 2015-09-16.CS1 maint: others (link) "William Merrell Vories". (Japanese). Retrieved 2015-09-16.CS1 maint: others (link).
  12. ^ "Chronology". (Japanese). W.M.Vories & Company Architects Ichiryusha. Retrieved 2015-09-16.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ Ahn, Chang-mo Director, Historic Preservation Program. "Pfeiffer Hall, Symbol of Modern Higher Education". photographed by Cho Ji-young. Retrieved 2015-09-15.
  14. ^ "Campus Life at Kobe College". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  15. ^ "Partnership Network". Kobe College. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  16. ^ "Partnership Network". Kobe College. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  17. ^ "Partner Institutions". Duksung Women's University. Archived from the original on 2015-08-31. Retrieved 2015-09-06.Program since June 2009.


  • Noriko Ishii, “Crossing Boundaries of Womanhood: Professionalization and American Women Missionaries' Quest for Higher Education in Meiji Japan,” Journal of American and Canadian Studies 19 (2001): 85–122.
  • Takeuchi, Masao (2000). Far and Beyond: Story of Kobe Women's College of Theology. (Japanese). Kyobunkan. ISBN 4-7642-6549-4.
  • Taniguchi, Toshikazu (1986). Rest in Peace, Deciples: Story of Kobe Foreign Cemetery. (Japanese). Kobe Newspaper Publication. ISBN 4-87521-447-2.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°45′39″N 135°21′07″E / 34.76083°N 135.35194°E / 34.76083; 135.35194