It was in 1885, in the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration, that Chuo University came into the world as Igirisu Horitsu Gakko (English Law School). The School was founded in Kanda-Nishikicho, Tokyo by 18 young attorneys, among them Rokuichiro Masujima who took office as the School’s first director.
Dedicated to the cause of Fostering the Ability to Apply Knowledge to Practice, the founders believed that studying common law, which was closely intertwined with the social reality, would be more useful in nurturing individuals who would be ideally suited to modern society. With this goal in mind, they poured their energy and resources into legal education.
In the space of only two years, the initial student body of 97 people had grown to over 600. In 1889, the year the Meiji Constitution was ratified, the school moved from the old samurai residence it had inhabited to a stylish new two-story brick building. In October of the same year, the school was renamed Tokyo Hogakuin (Tokyo College of Law), with the aim of providing a broad legal education.