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Doshisha Glee Club, the most prominent university choir in Japan was established in 1904. Throughout 111 years history over 1,000 students of Doshisha University have sung in the choir. Currently 60 Doshisha University students belong to the glee club. Doshisha University is the second oldest university in Japan. The 140 year-old university was established in Kyoto in 1875. The founder is Niijima Jo who is the first Japanese graduate from a university in US. As at today Doshisha University has 12 faculties in 2 main campuses (220 acres) in Kyoto with 30,000 students and 2,500 teaching staff


同志社グリークラブ(日本で最も突出した大学合唱団)は1904年に設立された。 111年の歴史の中で


Glorious History

The history of Doshisha Glee Club itself may be considered as the history of choirs in Japan. When the choir was established there was no Western music in Japan. It means that in those days people in Japan never heard harmony of human voices. Doshisha Glee Club consisting of 4 vocal parts, Top Tenor, Second Tenor, Baritone and Bass impressed Japanese with its solemn harmony and captured their hearts.




The first 10 years after the establishment the choir’s concerts were held in the Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe) and then from the 11th year Doshisha Glee Club started to travel and give concerts in many parts of Japan. In 1917 the first overseas concert tour was organised. The destinations were Manchuria (Northeast China) and Korea.


Doshisha Glee Club had been a leading Western music advocator in Japan which premiered many classical music in Japan until war clouds hung over Japan. In wartime Doshisha Glee Club was oppressed by the military government because the choir performed enemy’s music. Sadly many members were drafted and some of them were killed in the war.


After the Second World War, Doshisha Glee Club revived and achieved and occupied the highest position of the choral world in Japan. In 1950s and 60s the Glee Club won many Gold medals in the All Japan Choral Competitions and went for domestic concert tour twice a year. In 1974 Doshisha Glee Club resumed overseas concert tours of which destinations were US, China and Europe. Last year Doshisha Glee Club celebrated the 110th anniversary at the Kyoto Concert Hall.


Today’s Activities

Doshisha Glee Club gives an annual concert in December and participates various concerts including East-West 4 universities Choral festival, Kyoto Choral Festival and Christmas Concert etc. In order to perform in these concerts, the members join 4 hours practice after lecture 5 days in a week. 1-week choir camps with 12 hours practices in a day are organised twice a year.