University of Tokyo

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The University of Tokyo
UnivOfTokyo logo.svg
Latin: Universitas Tociensis
Established 1877
Type Public (National)
President Makoto Gonokami
Academic staff
2,429 full-time
175 part-time[1]
Administrative staff
Students 28,697[2]
Undergraduates 14,274
Postgraduates 13,732
Other students
747 research students
Location Tokyo, Japan
Campus Urban
Colors Light Blue     
Athletics 46 varsity teams
File:The place of the University of Tokyo establishment.jpg
The site of the establishment of the University of Tokyo
Akamon (the Red Gate).
Yasuda Auditorium on the University of Tokyo's Hongō Campus
Entrance exam results being presented to the public and admitted students celebrating

The University of Tokyo (東京大学 Tōkyō daigaku?), abbreviated as Todai (東大 Tōdai?),[3] is a research university located in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. The university has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is the first of Japan's National Seven Universities.[4][5] It ranks as the highest in Asia and 21st in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015. The University of Tokyo is widely considered to be the most prestigious university in Japan.[6][7]


The university was chartered by the Meiji government in 1877 under its current name by amalgamating older government schools for medicine and Western learning. It was renamed "the Imperial University (帝國大學 Teikoku daigaku?)" in 1886, and then Tokyo Imperial University (東京帝國大學 Tōkyō teikoku daigaku?) in 1897 when the Imperial University system was created. In September 1923, an earthquake and the following fires destroyed about 700,000 volumes of the Imperial University Library.[8] The books lost included the Hoshino Library (星野文庫 Hoshino bunko?), a collection of about 10,000 books.[8][9] The books were the former possessions of Hoshino Hisashi before becoming part of the library of the university and were mainly about Chinese philosophy and history.

In 1947, after Japan's defeat in World War II, it re-assumed its original name. With the start of the new university system in 1949, Todai swallowed up the former First Higher School (today's Komaba campus) and the former Tokyo Higher School, which thenceforth assumed the duty of teaching first- and second-year undergraduates, while the faculties on Hongo main campus took care of third- and fourth-year students.

Although the university was founded during the Meiji period, it has earlier roots in the Astronomy Agency (天文方; 1684), Shoheizaka Study Office (昌平坂学問所; 1797), and the Western Books Translation Agency (蕃書和解御用; 1811).[10] These institutions were government offices established by the 徳川幕府 Tokugawa shogunate (1603–1867), and played an important role in the importation and translation of books from Europe.

Kikuchi Dairoku, an important figure in Japanese education, served as president of Tokyo Imperial University.

For the 1964 Summer Olympics, the university hosted the running portion of the modern pentathlon event.[11]

On 20 January 2012, Todai announced that it would shift the beginning of its academic year from April to September to align its calendar with the international standard. The shift would be phased in over five years.[12][13]

According to the Japan Times, the university had 1,282 professors in February 2012. Of those, 58 were women.[12]

In the fall of 2012 and for the first time, the University of Tokyo started two undergraduate programs entirely taught in English and geared toward international students — Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK) — the International Program on Japan in East Asia and the International Program on Environmental Sciences.[14][15]




Graduate schools


Research institutes


  • Institute of Medical Science
  • Earthquake Research Institute
  • Institute of Oriental Culture
  • Institute of Social Science
  • Institute of Industrial Science
  • Historiographical Institute
  • Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Institute for Cosmic Ray Research
  • Institute for Solid State Physics
  • Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute
  • Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology

The University's School of Science and the Earthquake Research Institute are both represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.[17]


University rankings
ARWU[18] 21
Times[19] 43
QS[20] 39
ARWU[18] 1
Times[19] 3
QS (Global version)[21]
QS (Asia version)[22]


Hongo Campus

The main Hongo campus occupies the former estate of the Maeda family, Edo period feudal lords of Kaga Province. One of the university's best known landmarks, Akamon (the Red Gate), is a relic of this era. The symbol of the university is the ginkgo leaf, from the trees found throughout the area. The Hongo campus also hosts the University of Tokyo's annual May Festival.[32]

Sanshiro Pond

Sanshiro Pond detail, Tokyo University's Hongō campus.

Sanshiro Pond (三四郎池 Sanshirō ike?), university's Hongo campus, dates to 1615. After the fall of the Osaka Castle, the shogun gave this pond and its surrounding garden to Maeda Toshitsune. With further development of the garden by Maeda Tsunanori, it became known as one of the most beautiful gardens in Edo (Now Tokyo), with the traditional eight landscapes and eight borders, and known for originality in artificial pond, hills, and pavilions. It was at that time known as Ikutoku-en (Garden of Teaching Virtue). The pond's contours are in the shape of the character kokoro or shin (heart), and thus its official name is Ikutoku-en Shinjiike. It has been commonly called Sanshiro Pond after the title of Natsume Sōseki's novel Sanshiro.

Komaba Campus

One of the five campuses of the University of Tokyo, the Komaba Campus is home to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences, and a number of advanced research facilities and campus services. This is the campus where all the freshmen and sophomores of the University of Tokyo spend their college life. The University of Tokyo is the only university in Japan which has a system of two years of general education before students can choose and move on to special fields of study.[citation needed] The Komaba Campus is the cornerstone of general education, and was designated as the "center of excellence" for three new areas of research by the Ministry of Education and Science. There are currently over 7,000 students (freshmen and sophomores) enrolled in the general education courses, about 450 students (juniors and seniors) pursuing their specialties in the College of Arts and Sciences, and 1,400 graduate students in the advanced study.

Shirokanedai Campus

The relatively small Shirokanedai Campus[33] hosts the Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo (IMSUT), which is entirely dedicated to postgraduate studies. The campus is focused on genome research, including among its facilities the Human Genome Center (HGC), which have at its disposal the largest supercomputer in the field.[34]

Notable alumni and faculty members

  • The university has produced many notable people. 15 prime ministers of Japan have studied at the University of Tokyo.[35] Former prime minister Kiichi Miyazawa ordered Japanese government agencies to reduce the rate of employees who had attended the university's law faculty to below 50 percent due to concerns about diversity in the bureaucracy.[36]
  • Eleven alumni of University of Tokyo have received the Nobel Prize or the Fields Medal.
  1. Kunihiko Kodaira, Mathematics, 1954
  2. Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Physics, 1965
  3. Yasunari Kawabata, Literature, 1968
  4. Leo Esaki, Physics, 1973
  5. Eisaku Satō, Peace, 1974
  6. Kenzaburō Ōe, Literature, 1994
  7. Masatoshi Koshiba, Physics, 2002
  8. Yoichiro Nambu, Physics, 2008
  9. Ei-ichi Negishi, Chemistry, 2010
  10. Satoshi Ōmura, Medicine, 2015
  11. Takaaki Kajita, Physics, 2015
  1. Toyo Ito
  2. Kenzo Tange
  3. Fumihiko Maki

Nobel prize laureates

Scientists and foreigners

See also


  1. "University of Tokyo [Organization] Number of Students / Personnel". Retrieved 2007-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "東京大学 (学生数)学生・研究生・聴講生数". Retrieved 2007-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Todai-Yale Initiative". Retrieved 12 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. The School and the University. University of California Press. 1985. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-520-05423-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Arthritic Japan: the slow pace of economic reform. Brookings Institution Press. 2001. p. 148. ISBN 0-8157-0073-3. Missing pipe in: |first= (help); |first= missing |last= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 漢籍関係年表. Chinese classics (in Japanese). Tokyo University General Library. Retrieved 5 September 2011.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 東大と天皇-大日本帝国の生と死 (Todai and Emperors - Life and Death of Imperial Japan), by 立花 隆(Takashi Tachibana), (pp 22-62), ISBN 4-16-367440-3
  11. 1964 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 2. Part 2. p. 761.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Brasor, Philip, "Todai calls for change, but will others follow?", Japan Times, 5 February 2012, p. 9.
  13. Aoki, Mizuho, "Reform means the world for Todai", Japan Times, 18 February 2012, p. 3.
  14. "PEAK Programs"
  15. "The University of Tokyo, PEAK - Programs in English at Komaba - Introduction". Retrieved 12 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Departments". The University of Tokyo.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Organizations with ties to CCEP CCEP, accessed 2011-03-19
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 "World University Rankings 2015-2016". Times Higher Education. 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "QS World University Rankings® 2015/16". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "QS World University Rankings® 2015/16 (extracting Asian universities)". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "QS University Rankings: Asia 2015". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. name="World University Rankings">"World University Rankings". The Times Higher Educational Supplement. 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. name="Asia University Rankings Top 100">"Asia University Rankings Top 100". The Times Higher Educational Supplement. 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "World University Rankings 2014-15". The Times Higher Education. Retrieved 9 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "QS World University Rankings". Topuniversities. Retrieved 2011-10-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "QS World University Rankings". Topuniversities. Retrieved 2011-10-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "TOP - 100 (Global universities ranking)". Global Universities Ranking. 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "300 Best World Universities 2010". ChaseCareer Network.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "International Professional Ranking of Higher Education Institutions". École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris. 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Nature Publishing Index: Global Top 50". Nature Publishing Group. 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. 第86期五月祭常任委員会. "トップページ|東京大学 第86回五月祭". 第86回五月祭公式ウェブページ. Retrieved 12 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Human Genome Center, the Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo. "Human Genome Center". Retrieved 12 June 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "大学別総理大臣リスト List of prime ministers by graduated universities" (in Japanese). 大学 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. McGregor, Richard (15 May 2010). "China's Private Party". Wall Street Journal.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links