Kangien was the largest private academy in the Edo era. Before closing in 1897, Kangien had taught about 5,000 students. It was established by a Confucian scholar Hirose Tanso at the town of Hita (Oita prefecture) in 1817, and continued under Kyokuso (Tanso's younger brother) , Seison(the adopted heirs) ,and Ringai (Kyokuso's son) until 1871.
Kangien was revived as a gijuku in 1880. In the Meiji era, Kangien went through the following four stages. Murakami Konan (Tanso's student) served as a teacher from 1880 to 1884. Meanwhile, Kangien was called Keirin Gijuku. Keirin Gijuku taught Chinese studies. Hirose Goden (Seison's son) served as a main teacher from 1885 to 1887. He introduced English and mathematics to Kangien. Isayama Syukuson (Tanso's student) served as a main teacher from 1887 to 1892. He aimed to introduce general education to Kangien. However, due to lack of funds, Kangien discontinued its English and math education. Katsuya Meihin (Goden's student) served as a teacher from 1896 to 1897. Kangien taught Chinese studies as it once did.