Ranked as one of Japan’s top private universities, Sophia University was the country’s first Catholic university. Established in 1913, the university was set up by three Jesuit priests who had arrived in Japan five years earlier in response to a request from the Roman Pontiff at that time, Pope Pius X. Taking its name from the Greek word for wisdom, its Japanese name - Jouchi Daigaku – literally means the ‘University of Higher Wisdom’.
Over the years, the university has created a global network that allows researchers and students from overseas to teach and study in Japan, and Japanese researchers and students to do the same abroad. Its international partners include dozens of institutions across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia – with particularly strong links to universities in the US, Germany and France. Among its alumni, known as Sophians, are the former Japanese prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa, ex-chief minister of Malaysia Mukhriz Mahathir and Star Trek actor George Takei.