Imperial College of Engineering

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Imperial College of Engineering

The Imperial College of Engineering (ICE or Kobu Daigakko (工部大学校)) was founded by Yamao Yōzō within the Engineering Institution, Kogakuryo (工学寮) of Japan's Public Works <Kobu-sho> in 1873 to train young Japanese as engineers to be employed by the government. Initially, the technical school<Kogakko> was planned to consist of primary school<"Shogakko"小学校> and college<"Daigakko"大学校>, but only college was open according to Henry Dyer's idea. The name "Kobu Daigakko" dates from 1877.

Henry Dyer was appointed as a principal and wrote the calendar and syllabus whilst travelling by ship from Britain to Japan. Among the first staff appointed to the college were:[1]

W. E. Ayrton, alongside Henry Dyer likely the most influential member of the college faculty. In addition, Josiah Conder 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 Initial school building, later converted to museum, was designed in simple gothic style by Colin Alexander McVean and Henry Baston Joyner with help of Campbell Douglas, an architect of Glasgow. The main building of the college was designed by Charles Alfred Chastel de Boinville.[3]

The ICE was under the Ministry of Public Works (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.