Imperial College of Engineering

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This article is about the Meiji era Tokyo based college of engineering. For the United Kingdom public research university, see Imperial College London.
Imperial College of Engineering

The Imperial College of Engineering (ICE or Kobu Daigakko (工部大学校?)) was founded by Yamao Yōzō as a university at Tokyo in 1873, though its predecessor the Kogakuryo (工学寮?) existed from 1871. The name "Kobu Daigakko" dates from 1877. In modern-day parlance it would have been called an institute of technology.

Henry Dyer was appointed in charge and wrote the syllabus for the first year of the college whilst travelling by ship from his native Scotland to Japan. Among the first staff appointed to the college were:[1]

Josiah Conder, alongside Henry Dyer likely the most influential member of the college faculty, arrived to take up his post as Professor in the Department of Architecture in 1877.[2]

Memorial recording the location of the college buildings at Kasumigaseki

The college buildings were located at what is today Kasumigaseki 3 Chome 2-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, site of the Kasumigaseki Common Gate office development and the Japanese Government's Financial Services Agency. A red brick pillar and plaque marks the site. The main hall of the college was designed by Charles Alfred Chastel de Boinville.[3]

The ICE was under the Ministry of Industry (Japan) (工部省 Kobusho?) which was abolished in 1885. Control was then transferred to the Ministry of Education (文部省 Monbusho?) and the ICE became part of the Tokyo Imperial University (later the University of Tokyo) when it was created by the Ministry of Education in 1886. The ICE was thenceforth the Faculty of Engineering of the Imperial University.

The ICE had the following schools: architecture, chemistry, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, mining, shipbuilding, and telegraphy.

Students were required to write notes and graduation theses in English. Some of these survive and are on display at the National Science Museum (国立科学博物館 Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan?) in Ueno Park, Tokyo (New Building, 2F (second floor)).


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dyer, Henry (2002). Dai Nippon, the Britain of the East: A study in national evolution. Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 978-1-4021-8920-3. 
  2. ^ Conant, Ellen (2006). Challenging Past And Present: The Metamorphosis of Nineteenth-Century Japanese Art. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. p. 245. ISBN 0-8248-2937-9. 
  3. ^ Douglas, Campbell. "The Late Charles Alfred Chastel de Boinville". Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects 1896-1897. 4: 359.