Imperial Universities

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The Imperial Universities (Kyūjitai: 帝國大學, Shinjitai: 帝国大学, teikoku daigaku, abbr.: 帝大 teidai) were founded by the Empire of Japan between 1886 and 1939, seven in Mainland Japan (now Japan), one in Korea under Japanese rule (now the Republic of Korea) and one in Taiwan under Japanese rule (now Taiwan). They were run by the imperial government until the end of World War II.

Today, the Imperial Universities are often described as the former Imperial Universities (旧帝国大学, kyū-teikoku daigaku, abbr. : 旧帝大 kyū-teidai), and are viewed as some of the most prestigious in Japan. These former imperial universities are generally perceived as Japan's equivalent of the Ivy League in the United States, Golden Triangle in the United Kingdom, and the C9 League in China.[1] The alumni club of these nine imperial universities is Gakushikai (学士会).[2]

Unlike Taihoku Imperial University (renamed in 1945 to National Taiwan University) in then-Japanese Taiwan, the Keijō Imperial University in then-Japanese Korea was closed by the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) with U.S. Military Ordinance No. 102. Seoul National University was built by merging nine schools in Seoul and the remaining properties of Keijō Imperial University (Kyŏngsŏng University). The National Taiwan University and Seoul National University are today among the most prestigious universities of Taiwan and Korea.


Imperial Universities Successor universities
Founded Name Image Present-day name Location Map Colors Motto
1886 Imperial University (帝國大學),
renamed Tōkyō Imperial University (東京帝國大學) in 1897
Tokyo Imperial University,1925.jpg University of Tokyo (東京大学) Bunkyō, Tokyo 35°42′48.39″N 139°45′44.03″E / 35.7134417°N 139.7622306°E / 35.7134417; 139.7622306 (Imperial University → Tokyo Imperial University → University of Tokyo)  
1897 Kyōto Imperial University (京都帝國大學) Kyoto Imperial University-old1.jpg Kyoto University (京都大学) Kyoto, Kyoto 35°1′33.77″N 135°46′51″E / 35.0260472°N 135.78083°E / 35.0260472; 135.78083 (Kyoto Imperial University → Kyoto University)   Freedom of academic culture
1907 Tōhoku Imperial University (東北帝國大學) Tohoku Imperial University,1913.jpg Tohoku University (東北大学) Sendai, Miyagi 38°15′14.8″N 140°52′25″E / 38.254111°N 140.87361°E / 38.254111; 140.87361 (Tohoku Imperial University → Tohoku University)   Practice-Oriented Research and Education
1911 Kyūshū Imperial University (九州帝國大學) Kyushu Imperial University-old1.jpg Kyushu University (九州大学) Fukuoka, Fukuoka 33°37′21.9″N 130°25′31.1″E / 33.622750°N 130.425306°E / 33.622750; 130.425306 (Kyushu Imperial University → Kyushu University)  
1918 Hokkaidō Imperial University (北海道帝國大學) Hokkaido Imperial University.jpg Hokkaido University (北海道大学) Sapporo, Hokkaidō 43°4′16.61″N 141°20′36.89″E / 43.0712806°N 141.3435806°E / 43.0712806; 141.3435806 (Hokkaido Imperial University → Hokkaido University)   Boys, Be Ambitious
1924 Keijō Imperial University (京城帝國大學) Keijo Imperial University-old1.jpg Closed by USAMGIK on August 22, 1946, by U.S. Military Ordinance No. 102. Succeeded by Seoul National University Seoul Closed Closed
1928 Taihoku Imperial University (臺北帝國大學) Taihoku Imperial University.JPG National Taiwan University (國立臺灣大學)[3] Da'an, Taipei 25°1′2.45″N 121°32′26.55″E / 25.0173472°N 121.5407083°E / 25.0173472; 121.5407083 (Taihoku Imperial University → National Taiwan University)     Integrity, Diligence, Fidelity, Compassion
1931 Ōsaka Imperial University (大阪帝國大學) Osaka Imperial University.jpg Osaka University (大阪大学) Suita, Osaka 34°49′7.23″N 135°31′26.23″E / 34.8186750°N 135.5239528°E / 34.8186750; 135.5239528 (Osaka Imperial University → Osaka University)   Live Locally, Grow Globally
1939 Nagoya Imperial University (名古屋帝國大學) Nagoya Imperial University-old1.jpg Nagoya University (名古屋大学) Nagoya, Aichi 35°9′15.8″N 136°57′55.73″E / 35.154389°N 136.9654806°E / 35.154389; 136.9654806 (Nagoya Imperial University → Nagoya University)   Courageous intellectual


Nagoya UniversityOsaka UniversityNational Taiwan UniversitySeoul National UniversityKeijō Imperial UniversityHokkaido UniversityKyushu UniversityTohoku UniversityKyoto UniversityUniversity of Tokyo

Athletic competition[edit]

The athletic competition started among these seven schools in Japan under the sponsorship of Hokkaido University, formerly known as National Athletic Competition of the Seven Universities (全国七大学総合体育大会, zenkoku nana-daigaku sōgō taiiku-taikai) in 1962. Its name was later recoined as Seven Universities Athletic Meet (国立七大学総合体育大会, kokuritsu nana-daigaku sōgō taiiku-taikai)[4][5] in 2002. The competition is commonly called the Competition of the Seven Imperial Universities (七帝戦, shichi-tei sen) or the national athletic meet of the seven former imperial universities (七大戦, Nanadai-sen).[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sainsbury, Michael (4 November 2009). "China establishes group of Ivy League universities". The Australian.
  2. ^ 学士会について Archived 2013-02-08 at the Wayback Machine (学士会)
  3. ^ The Chinese (Kuomintang) government took control of the university and renamed it.
  4. ^ 51st Seven Universities Athletic Meet Opening Ceremony (July 7, 2012) (Kyoto University)
  5. ^ UTokyo's Ice Hockey Team Wins at the Seven Universities Athletic Meet for the First Time in 46 Years (Student Support Group) (University of Tokyo)
  6. ^ Long-awaited overall victory in Nanadai-sen (University of Tokyo)