Kyoto City University of Arts

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Kyoto City University of Arts (京都市立芸術大学, Kyōto shiritsu geijutsu daigaku) is a municipal university of general art and music art in Kyoto, Japan. Established in 1880, it is Japan's oldest university of art. (The Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music was established in 1885.) Among its faculty and graduates have been 16 recipients of the Order of Culture, 24 members of the Japan Art Academy, and 10 artists who have been designated living national treasures.[1] It has been associated especially closely with nihonga painters from western Japan.


The university was founded in 1880 as the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting (京都府画学校, Kyōtofu Gagakkō) in temporary quarters at the imperial palace of Kyoto. Kyoto had lost its status as the nation's capital in 1867, at the beginning of Meiji Period, and the city was in danger of being left behind in the wave of modernization overtaking the country. In 1878, a group of painters petitioned the city government to establish a modern school of the arts to support the traditional arts and crafts, including painting, ceramics, and weaving. The school was founded with support from the city and national government leader Sanjo Sanetomi, and contributions from 93 Kyoto merchants.[1]

In 1969, the university merged with a Kyoto college that became its Faculty of Music. The largest and most diverse faculty is Faculty of Fine Arts, which offers courses in traditional and modern fine arts and traditional crafts such as the ceramics, urushi lacquering, and dyeing and weaving. As of 1999, the university had 307 full- and part-time faculty members and 902 students.[2]


  • Faculty of Fine Arts
    • Fine Art
    • Design
    • Craft
    • General Science of Art
  • Faculty of Music
    • Composition
    • Conducting
    • Piano
    • String Instruments
    • Wind and Percussion Instruments
    • Vocal Music

Notable alumni and alumna[edit]

Nihonga painters
Contemporary art
  • Katsuji Wakisaka


  1. ^ a b "Kyoto City University of Arts 130 Years, Part 1 Dawn of Modern Art/1" (in Japanese). Mainichi Shinbun. 2008-10-10. Archived from the original on 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
  2. ^ "Kyoto City University of Arts Prospectus 1999" (PDF). Kyoto City University of Arts. pp. 3–7. Retrieved 2009-03-13.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°58′28″N 135°39′50″E / 34.97444°N 135.66389°E / 34.97444; 135.66389