About Our Foundation


Date of Establishment

October 4, 1990
(We made a new beginning as the Public Interest Incorporated Univers Foundation, effective on April 1, 2012.)


Shinnyo-en, Buddhist Order


By the wishes of the late Master Shinjo Ito, the founder of Shinnyo-en, the Univers Foundation was formed in order to promote the enhancement of elderly welfare from an international viewpoint.

Contact Information

  • The Univers Foundation
    YPC Bldg. 5F, 2-14-8 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0004 Japan
    Tel.03-3350-9002 Fax.03-3350-9008

  • The Univers Volunteers TOKYO
    Located within the Univers Foundation
    Tel. 03-3350-9004 Fax. 03-3350-9008

  • The Univers Volunteers KOBE
    Eishin Bldg. 5F, 4-2-27 Gokodori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 651-0087 Japan
    Tel. 078-221-5901 Fax. 078-221-5902

Mission Statement

The 21st century will soon begin, ushering in what may be called the “super aging society.” According to the forecast of the Institute of Population Problems of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, such a society in which the elderly represent one-fourth of the population is close at hand.

The realization of a society in which people enjoy long lives is something everyone has probably wished for. However, as this is our first encounter with this situation, there are many issues that we must deal with. Now is the time to concentrate our energy and knowledge to prepare for the arrival of this age so that we can celebrate humanity increased life span.

We have seriously considered what we can do to effectively deal with the aging society, especially welfare for the elderly.
Eventually, we all must face this issue as our own personal problem.

Individuals, groups and administrations with foresight have already commenced concentrating their efforts on activities to handle this issue. However, the accumulation of academic information regarding trends in other countries and international exchange in the area of welfare for the elderly is as yet, insufficient.

For this reason, we decided to establish a now foundation that would act as a channels of information and a facilitator for serious activities and research that examine this issue that faces all of humanity and will lead the way in the 21st century.

The Univers Foundation strives for the creation of an affluent and joyful aging society by 1) contributing to international surveys and research regarding welfare for the elderly; 2) supporting the international exchange of researchers of welfare for the elderly; 3) encouraging and increasing the volunteer activities performed by the elderly and promoting international exchange in these activities.

UNIVERS means humanity or the world in French. Through its various activities, the Univers Foundation will devote itself to investigating aspects of the aging of society, an issue that can be called humanity problem, and thereby make an effective contribution to society.

October 4, 1990

  • We received Public Interest Corporation Authorization from the prime minister and we made a new beginning as the Public Interest Incorporated Foundation, effective on April 1, 2012.
    Approaching issues of aging from a global perspective, the Univers Foundation contributes to the promotion of social welfare in an aging society – with a falling birthrate and declining population – by providing grant programs, human resource development, and opportunities for international exchange.

    In order to accomplish this end, we shall carry out following projects:
  1. Grant programs for International Surveys and Research, and Civilian Activities
  2. International Exchange among Researchers and Human Resource Development
  3. International Exchanges in Volunteerism
  4. Raising Awareness of Volunteerism
  5. Other Projects Essential to Achieve the Foundation’s Aim

Board of Directors and Trustees

Isao Ito
(Bishop of Soenshitsu, Shinnyo-en)
Eiichi Okamoto
(Director, The Voluntarism Institute, Social Welfare Corporation Osaka Voluntary Action Center)

Atsushi Kanai
(Professor Emeritus, Juntendo University)

Yutaka Sakurai
(Professor, National Defence Medical College)

Masatoshi Hasegawa
(Chairman, Daijo Shukutoku Gakuen)

Yasuko Hashimoto
(Professor Emeritus, Taisho University)

Koji Murofushi
(Professor, Tokyo Medical and Dental University)
Kunitoshi Shigenaga
(Licensed Tax Accountant)

Koji Shimura
(Certified Public Accountant)
Keishin Inaba
(Associate Professor, Graduate School of Human Scienes, Osaka University)

Kahei Sato
(Professor Emeritus, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University)

Banmei Takahashi
(Film Director, Professor, Department of Art, Kyoto University of Art and Design)

Seiji Nishikawa
(Assistant Executive Director, Shinnyo-en)

Chisato Mori
(Professor, School of Medicine, Chiba University)

Akira Yonemura
(Executive Director, Shinchoji Buddhist Temple)