Toyo University began as a private philosophy academy, founded by Dr. Enryo Inoue in 1887. It was set up on the grounds of the Rinsho Temple in what is the Bunkyo Ward of Tokyo. Dr. Enryo's educational philosophy It was renamed as the Philosophy Academy University in 1903 and then as Toyo University in 1906. It began accepting female students in 1916, making it one of the first co-educational private universities in Japan.
It comprises 13 faculties with 46 departments, 18 graduate schools (offering 47 majors), and four affiliated high schools. Research activity is conducted on a global scale with the use of the International Research Centre for Philosophy, the Research Centre for Public/Private Partnership (PPP) and the Bio-Nano Electronics Research Centre. Toyo offers both liberal arts and science courses.