National Seven Universities(国立七大学)

Former imperial colleges of Japan that remains the cream of the crop in research and prestige:

University of Tokyo (東京大学)

With the aim of becoming the world’s top university, we are striving to create an institution that contributes to the benefit of all human society. As the twenty-first century moves forward, the pace of change accelerates, and conflicts between technology and society, humankind and the environment, and among cultures are becoming increasingly evident. At the same time, the age of nations is coming to an end, and global competition has inspired a growing awareness of the need for a collective human society. In this era of rapid change, the University of Tokyo intends to contribute to that international goal by reviving the importance of knowledge.

Essentially, knowledge frees human beings. It is a profound source of power that encourages candid human interaction and provides people with vigor as well as liberating them from various limitations. The creation and application of new forms of knowledge will no doubt determine the future direction of human society.

Kyoto University(京都大学)

Founded in 1897, Kyoto University has deeply considered its traditions of liberal and academic freedom, educating many. We continue to actively maintain these principles, which are the foundation of academic freedom.

Kyoto University places top priority on basic research, develops advanced technology leading to the acquisition of intellectual property, and then returns this knowledge to society through education, social cooperation, and the opportunity for lifelong education. In 21st century, people stand at the crossroads of survival in a changing natural environment. Kyoto University understands this struggle as it grapples with the problems of education in man’s future.

Osaka University(大阪大学)

Since its establishment as an Imperial University in 1931, spanning its 70-year history, Osaka University has conducted education and research with the aim of establishing itself as a world-leading institution contributing to advancement in the level of human knowledge. Osaka University has come to encompass 10 Faculties/Schools, 14 Graduate Schools, 5 Research Institutes, and 2 National Facilities for Joint Use, in addition to a number of other facilities, in its development as one of Japan’s most distinguished universities.

Nagoya University(名古屋大学)

Nagoya University, since its foundation in 1939 as one of seven imperial universities, has developed as one of the nation’s leading universities. As a result of having established our basic philosophy in teaching and research, we have created a unique system of education and research, achieved a high level of research results, and played a significant role in fostering many of Japan’s current and future leaders. This success is attributed to the liberal and vivid character created in Nagoya University as the latest-established imperial university where education and research are free from traditional rigid thoughts.

Tohoku University(東北大学)

Tohoku University was founded in 1907 as the third imperial university, during the period when Japan had begun to transform itself into a modernized society. Since then, it has played a leading role in both research and education in Japan, and is now ranked among the top universities in the Asia-Pacific region.

From the start Tohoku University has maintained uniqueness within Japan. The university has always conceived strong loyalty to science while other former imperial universities have tried to meet the governmental needs. This has resulted in remarkable success in the University’s own research and also the cultivation of brilliant students who have maintained a desire for science even after they left the university. A typical example, and probably the best known is Mr. Koichi Tanaka, the 2002 Nobel Prize laureate and a graduate of the class of 1983.

Hokkaido University(北海道大学)

Hokkaido University was founded in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College – the nation’s first institute of higher education to award bachelor’s degrees. “Boys, be ambitious!,” the phrase Dr. William S. Clark, the first Vice-Principal, was quoted as saying to his students before leaving Sapporo, is well known among the Japan’ youth and also serves as Hokkaido University’s maxim.

Hokkaido University upholds “The Frontier Spirit,” “Global Perspectives,” “All-round Education” and “Practical Learning” concepts that have been developed over its history of more than 130 years as the basic philosophies of education and research. Currently, all the faculty members, students and graduates are making concerted efforts to transform their campus into a global base for education and research.

Kyushu University(九州大学)

Kyushu University’s history can be traced back to 1903 when it was established as Fukuoka Medical College affiliated to Kyoto Imperial University. In 1911, Kyushu Imperial University was re-established as one of the former seven imperial universities in Japan, and it was renamed to Kyushu University in 1947. In its history of nearly 100 years, Kyushu University has contributed to higher education in Japan. In October 2003, the university has taken advantage of new research opportunities by integrating the Kyushu Institute of Design. This integration created a unique academic environment where Science of Kyushu University and Aesthetic sense and creativity of the Kyushu Institute of Design were merged. Kyushu University was reorganized to become a national university corporation in April 2005, having been striving for further progress of education and research.