Doshisha Rowing Club
Joseph Hardy Neesima founded what is now Doshisha University. Born the son of a samurai, Neesima gradually gained awareness of Western culture and Christianity. He left for America in 1864 and ended up in Boston. Neesima studied at Phillips Academy and Amherst College. After graduation, he decided to become a minister himself. Neesima returned to Japan after ten years away wanting to found a Christian University and spread Christianity. Doshisha rowing began in the 1880's. It is university lore that the students originally began rowing on Lake Biwa. Doshisha University Rowing Club was established in 1891 and is one of the university's oldest clubs. The Rowing Club has had a long history of success starting in 1899 when the team won the All-Japan Boat Race. During the beginning of the Showa era, a modification in the way the seat slid landed the Eights at the center of competition, and the University Rowing Club has produced the best rowers in Western Japan ever since. The club constructed a new boathouse in 1962 on the Setagawa River, and training intensified and sharpened soon thereafter. The crew took third in 1966 and 1967 at the All-Japan Championships. In 1968, Doshisha beat Keio University to take first in the All-Japan Eight Championships. With this win, the crew would represent Japan in the 1968 Olympic games. Doshisha won its third All-Japan Championship in 1973. The team struggled from the late 70's through the early 90's when they broke the downturn by competing at the Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames River. In 2001, Doshisha returned to victory by winning the coxless four at the All-Japan Championships. The philosophy of the boat club is:
"Contribute to society by striving to cultivate knowledge, virtue and body through competitive rowing, building fully conscientious and fully talented individuals with independent minds."
This philosophy is a great mindset to have when training at an elite level. Doshisha University Rowing Club has continued to be successful throughout the 2000's, and this philosophy is a testament to their success (Doshisha University Rowing Club).