- Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Tokyo Tech is the top national university for science and technology in Japan with a history spanning more than 130 years. Of the approximately 10,000 students at the Ookayama, Suzukakedai, and Tamachi Campuses, half are in their bachelor’s degree program while the other half are in master’s and doctoral degree programs. International students number 1,200. There are 1,200 faculty and 600 administrative and technical staff members.
In the 21st century, the role of science and technology universities has become increasingly important. Tokyo Tech continues to develop global leaders in the fields of science and technology, and contributes to the betterment of society through its research, focusing on solutions to global issues. The Institute’s long-term goal is to become the world’s leading science and technology university.
As one of Japan’s top universities, Tokyo Institute of Technology seeks to contribute to civilization, peace and prosperity in the world, and aims at developing global human capabilities par excellence through pioneering research and education in science and technology, including industrial and social management. To achieve this mission, we have an eye on educating highly moral students to acquire not only scientific expertise but also expertise in the liberal arts, and a balanced knowledge of the social sciences and humanities, all while researching deeply from basics to practice with academic mastery. Through these activities, we wish to contribute to global sustainability of the natural world and the support of human life.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- School of Science
- School of Engineering
- School of Bioscience and Biotechnology
- Graduate School of Science and Engineering
- Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology
- Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering
- Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering
- Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology
- Graduate School of Innovation Management
In the early Meiji period, soon after the opening of the country, it became imperative that Japan cultivate human resources to develop modern industrial technology. The government was actively promoting the technical education of its citizens at this time in order to develop the advanced science and technology that was already common in Europe and the United States. Against this background, Japan’s first national technical school, the Kogakuryo Technical School, was founded by the Ministry of Engineering in 1873.
Around the same time, the Ministry of Education founded the Seisakugaku Kyojo in 1874 at the suggestion of Gottfried Wagener, a German-born scientist. Wagener had been vocal about the necessity of practical technical education in Japan in order to cultivate senior engineers and engineers. Although the Seisakugaku Kyojo closed three years later, it was a revolutionary school in that students were taught practical skills along with scientific theories to produce engineers necessary for modernizing Japanese industry.
Seiichi Tejima, who was then assistant director general of the Museum of Education, together with Wagener pushed for modern technical and industrial education with emphasis on practical applications. With the support of Ryuichi Kuki and Arata Hamao of the Ministry of Education, they succeeded in persuading the Ministry to establish the Tokyo Vocational School in May 1881.
Preparations for opening the school began. A curriculum was established in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Tokyo Vocational School enacted in 1881. These rules stated that the school should provide the necessary technical and industrial science education to become a vocational school teacher or senior engineer. Kuramae in Taito City near the Sumida River was chosen as the site for the campus. Kuramae means thestorehouse front and the name comes from the rice storehouses of the Tokugawa Shogunate located there.
Taizo Masaki was the first principal of the school and the first classes were held in 1882 in two departments: the Department of Machinery and the Department of Applied Chemistry. The Tokyo Vocational School graduated its first class in July 1887. Initially the school had a hard time recruiting students, because technical skills were traditionally handed down in Japan in an apprenticeship system. The shift from apprenticeship to modern technical education had only just begun. In 1884, Wagener started to teach at the school in accordance with the principles and methods of the former Seisakugaku Kyojo. He developed modern technology for large-scale production in manufacturing industries such as ceramics, glass, and lacquerware. Wagener provided the foundation for Tokyo Tech’s later advancements as industrial manufacturing took root in Japan.
In 1890, Seiichi Tejima took over Masaki’s job and became principal of the school. Tejima had gone to the United States to study when he was 21 years old and was the interpreter of the Iwakura Mission, a Japanese diplomatic mission that traveled around the world. He later assumed the role of assistant director general of the Museum of Education and went to the Paris and Philadelphia World Expositions. From these experiences Tejima became a pioneer advocate of technical education in Japan. The Tokyo Vocational School was renamed Tokyo Technical School in 1890 and then Tokyo Higher Technical School in 1901. Numerous leaders in academia and industry passed through the doors during the 25-year period in which Tejima led the school.
An adage arose during the years of the Tokyo Technical School. “Wherever there’s a chimney, there you will find someone from Kuramae,” meaning that wherever there was a large-scale industrial complex, a graduate of the school had been involved in its establishment. Kuramae remained the center of technical education until the school was burned to the ground on September 1, 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake struck.
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