National Seven Universities

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The National Seven Universities (国立七大学 kokuritsu nana-daigaku?) is formally used to refer to seven public institutions of higher education in Japan. The term "Former Imperial Universities" (旧帝大 kyūteidai?) is commonly used for these seven universities, as they once constituted the Japanese Imperial University system, formed prior to World War II.

These universities are known for their great successes in research activities, in particular natural sciences and engineering, and hence the entrance examination is extremely competitive.

Most of research grants given by the Japanese government are taken by them.

The term is also used to refer to the annual athletic competition among these seven schools. The athletic competition started under the sponsorship of Hokkaido University, formerly known as Seven National Universities Athletic Competition (全国七大学総合体育大会 zenkoku nana-daigaku sōgō taiiku-taikai?) in 1962. The Japanese name of the athletic competition was later recoined as 国立七大学総合体育大会 (kokuritsu nana-daigaku sōgō taiiku-taikai) in 2002. The competition is commonly called Imperial Competition of Seven Universities (七帝戦 shichi-tei sen?)

In a wider sense, the term is used to refer to the social group once strongly associated with these seven schools, including Gakushikai, the alumni clubs.


Institution Location Full-time enrollment Founded Chartered
Hokkaido University Sapporo, Hokkaidō 11,153 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College, 1918 as Hokkaido Imperial University
Kyoto University Kyoto, Kyoto 13,064 1897 as Kyoto Imperial University
Kyushu University Fukuoka, Fukuoka 11,689 1911 as Kyushu Imperial University
Nagoya University Nagoya, Aichi 9,818 1939 as Nagoya Imperial University
Osaka University Suita, Osaka 12,229 1931 as Osaka Imperial University
Tohoku University Sendai, Miyagi 10,692 1907 as Tohoku Imperial University
University of Tokyo Bunkyō, Tokyo 14,711 1877 as Imperial University

The total number of full-time enrollment of all seven universities amounts to 83,356.


Nine Imperial Universities (帝國大學 teikoku daigaku?) were founded by the Empire of Japan between 1877 and 1939, seven in Japan, one in Korea and one in Taiwan. They were run by the imperial government until the end of World War II. The seven Japanese universities are collectively known as the National Seven Universities (國立七大學, kokuritsu nana-daigaku). The universities are:


  1. ^ Changed its name to Kyongsong University after World War II, and dissolved on August 22, 1946, by U.S. Military Ordinance No. 102.
  2. ^ The Chinese (Kuomintang) government took control of the university and renamed it.