Japanese students in the United Kingdom

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The first Japanese students in the United Kingdom arrived in the nineteenth century, sent to study at University College London by the Chōshū and Satsuma domains, then the Bakufu (Shogunate). Many went on to study at Cambridge University and a smaller number at Oxford University until the end of the Meiji period. The primary motive for this was an effort to modernise Japan in the long run. Since the 1980s, Japanese students in the United Kingdom have become common thanks to cheaper air travel.

Chōshū Five (1863)[edit]

At University College London supervised by Professor Alexander William Williamson

Satsuma students (1865)[edit]

15 Satsuma students, one from Tosa and one from Nagasaki, and 4 supervisors (ometsuke). This group also studied at University College London which was open to students of all religions.

Bakufu students (1866)[edit]


Students: (12)

Students in the Meiji era[edit]

Cambridge University[edit]

Oxford University[edit]

Naval trainees[edit]


After World War II[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Cobbing, Andrew. The Japanese Discovery of Victorian Britain. RoutledgeCurzon, London, 1998. ISBN 1-873410-81-6
  • Cobbing, Andrew. The Satsuma Students in Britain: Japan's Early Search for the Essence of the West. Curzon Press, 2000. ISBN 1-873410-97-2
  • Japanese Students at Cambridge University in the Meiji Era, 1868-1912: Pioneers for the Modernization of Japan, by Noboru Koyama, translated by Ian Ruxton [1], (Lulu Press, September 2004, ISBN 1-4116-1256-6).
  • Gardiner, Michael. At the Edge of Empire: The Life of Thomas B. Glover. Birlinn, Edinburgh, 2007. ISBN 1-84158-544-0
  • The History of the satsuma students [2], by Satsuma Students Museum