Sophia University

About The Development of Sophia University after World War II

The Development of Sophia University after World War II

The Development of Sophia University after World War II

Both Japan and Germany lay in ruins after their defeat in the Second World War. Thanks to the financial assistance received from the United States since that time, Sophia University was able to purchase seven thousand tsubo of land for educational use: these included the sites of the present Sophia House, Building 7, and some space for parking. Next, in 1952, the original Library building was constructed. In 1953, the Jesuit priest professor Takashi Oizumi was selected as the fifth president of Sophia University. Under his leadership, a five-year plan was created for improvement of the educational environment and research facilities. During this plan, the university was to become a co-educational institution, a gymnasium and an on-campus dormitory for men were to be built and important targets were to be reached. To achieve this plan, two million dollars (US) would be needed. When the plans were shown to then-superior general Fr. Jannsens, he replied that the central headquarters of the Society of Jesus could provide half of the needed funds. He would provide the funding over five years, sending a sum of twenty million dollars each year. He depended on the American Jesuits for this funding, which was provided as the American contribution to Sophia University. The archdiocese of Cologne in Germany and the archdiocese of Tokyo had created an agreement of mutual support, so the Cologne archdiocese also contributed funds to the five-year plan of Sophia University. President Oizumi was able to visit the archdiocese of Cologne in 1955 and was able to further deepen the good relationships.

In these ways, the five-year plan was able to make progress thanks to contributions from overseas. Christmas of 1956 saw the completion of construction of the Sophia Men's Dormitory, with the Sophia House also in the same building. In 1957, government permission was received to start a Faculty of Law, and Building 2 was completed. In 1958, the Faculty of Theology was inaugurated at Kamishakuji in Nerima-Ku. At the Yotsuya campus, meanwhile, the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Studies was separately inaugurated, moving from its previous situation as the Department of Foreign Languages within the Faculty of Humanities. We can see the dreams of Fr. Hoffmann and the other founders of the University finally becoming reality.