Tohoku University

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Tohoku University
Tohoku University logo.svg
  • 研究第一主義 (research first principle)
  • 門戸開放 (open-door policy)
  • 実学尊重 (respect for practical studies)
TypePublic (National)
EstablishedJune 22, 1907
Academic affiliations
EndowmentUS$1.3 billion
(JP¥120,138 billion)
PresidentHideo Ohno
Administrative staff
Other students
1,346 (international students)
CampusUrban, 250 ha (620 acres)
Colors  Purple
Sporting affiliations
TCAA, SEN6 [ja]

Tohoku University (東北大学, Tōhoku daigaku), or Tohokudai (東北大, Tōhokudai) is a Japanese national university located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan. It is informally referred to as Tonpei (トンペイ, Tonpei). Established in 1907, it was the third Imperial University in Japan and among the first three Designated National Universities, along with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.[1] Tohoku University is a Top Type university of the Top Global University Project, and since 2020 has been ranked the best university in Japan by Times Higher Education.[2][3][4]

In 2016, Tohoku University had 10 faculties, 16 graduate schools and 6 research institutes, with a total enrollment of 17,885 students.[5] The university's three core values are "Research First (研究第一主義)," "Open-Doors (門戸開放)," and "Practice-Oriented Research and Education (実学尊重)."


Albert Einstein visiting Tohoku Imperial University in 1922
Tohoku University (Katahira campus Main Gate)

On June 22, 1907(明治40年,Mēji yonjyunen), the university was established under the name Tohoku Imperial University (東北帝國大學, Tōhoku teikoku daigaku) by the Meiji government as the third Imperial University of Japan, following the Tokyo Imperial University (1877) and the Kyoto Imperial University (1897). From its start, it has advocated "Open-door" policies—it was the first university in Japan to accept female students (in 1913)[6] and foreign students.

In September 1907, it set up the faculty of Agriculture in Sapporo; the Sapporo Agricultural College (札幌農學校, Sapporo nō gakkō).

It set up the Science Department in 1911, and the Medical Department (formerly the Sendai Medical College) in 1915. In 1918 it ceded the Faculty of Agriculture to Hokkaido Imperial University. It subsequently launched Faculties of Engineering in 1919, and Law and Literature in 1922.[7]

In 1947 the university assumed its current name, Tohoku University, and acquired a new Faculty of Agriculture. In 1949, the Faculty of Law and Literature was split to form new faculties of Law, Literature, and Economics. A Faculty of Education was added in 1949, Dentistry in 1965, and Pharmacy in 1972. Tohoku has been a National University Corporation since April 2004.[7]

2011 Tōhoku earthquake[edit]

Subsequent to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the university was declared closed until further notice, but with a tentative re-opening date of the end of the following April.[8]

The Aobayama, Katahira, Amamiya, and Kawauchi campuses are all at least 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) from the ocean, towards the mountains, and therefore suffered no damage resulting from the tsunami. No deaths or serious injuries within the faculty and student body were reported on campus grounds. However, earthquake damage lead to the closure of 27 buildings and caused millions of dollars of damage to equipment. Classes have resumed normally since early May 2011 and plans for restoring, reinforcing or replacing damaged buildings are underway.

The radiology department has been actively measuring radiation levels throughout the city of Sendai since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, which is about 100 kilometers south. So far no alarming levels of radiation have been detected.


City locator 14.svg Campus locations

Principal four campuses are in the Sendai City, Japan;

  • Katahira (片平, Katahira)
Administration Unit. and Principal institutes
  • Kawauchi (川内, Kawauchi)
North-Kawauchi; The freshmen and sophomore of all undergraduates
South-Kawauchi; Law, Education, Economics, Letters
  • Seiryo (星陵, Seiryō)
Medicine, Dentistry
  • Aobayama (青葉山, Aobayama)
Science, Engineering, Pharmacy, Agriculture

Amamiya campus and some institutes transferred to the new extension at Aobayama campus in April 2017 [1].


Graduate School of Engineering (Research Lab Complex)

The university's Research Center for Prediction of Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions is represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.[9]

Traditional number and configuration

( ) is Part-time lecturer.

総長 1
理事 8(1)
監事 2(1)
教員 3,168
教授 896
准教授 738
講師 193
助教 1,195
助手 146

Research institutes[edit]

  • Research Institute of Electrical Communication (電気通信研究所, 通研, Denki Tsūshin Kenkyūsjo, Tsūken)[10]
  • Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer (加齢医学研究所, Karei Igaku Kenkyūjo)[11]
  • Institute of Fluid Science (流体科学研究所, Ryūtai Kagaku Kenkyūsyo)[12]
  • Institute for Materials Research,IMR (金属材料研究所, 金研, Kinzoku Zairyō Kenkyūsjo, Kinken)[13]
National Collaborative Research Institute
  • Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (多元物質科学研究所, Tagen Busshitsu Kagaku Kenkyūjo)[14]
  • International Research Institute of Disaster Science (災害科学国際研究所, Saigai Kagaku Kokusai Kenkyūjo)[15]
  • Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization (東北メディカル・メガバンク機構, Tōhoku Medikaru Megabanku kikō)[16]

Centers and facilities[edit]

University library[edit]

  • Tohoku University library
  • Medical Library
  • Kita-Aobayama Library
  • Engineering Library
  • Agricultural Library

University hospital[edit]

  • Tohoku University Hospital Seiryo

Inter-department institutes for education and research[edit]

  • Center for Northeast Asian Studies
  • Center for the Advancement of Higher Education
    • Health Administration Center
    • University Counseling Center
    • Admission Center
    • Center for Career Support
    • Center for Culture and Language Education
  • The Center for Academic Resources and Archives
  • Institute for International Advanced Research and Education Organization
  • Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center
  • New Industry Creation Hatchery Center(NICHe)
  • Center for Interdisciplinary Research
  • Technology Center for Research and Education Activities
    • Center for Low-Temperature Science
    • High-Voltage Electron Microscope Laboratory
  • Information Synergy Organization
    • Information Synergy Center (National Collaboration Institution)

Collaborating institutions[edit]

  • Office of Cooperative Research and Development
  • Office for Strategic Promotion of Basic Research
  • Center for Research Strategy and Support(CRESS)
  • Environment Conservation Research Institute
  • Center for International Exchange
  • Archaeological Research office on the Campus
  • Global Operations center
  • Campus Planning office

Administration unit[edit]

Tohoku University Overseas Office[edit]

Tohoku University US Office
Tohoku University China Office

Biomedical Engineering Research Organization[edit]

e-learning system[edit]

  • Internet School of Tohoku University (ISTU)


  • Ibun-ryo (以文寮, Ibun ryō)
  • Josyun-ryo (如春寮, Josyun ryō)
  • Seifu-ryo (霽風寮, Seifū ryō)
  • Nissyu-ryo (日就寮, Nissyū ryō)
  • Meizen-ryo (明善寮, Meizen ryō)
  • Matsukaze-ryo (松風寮, Matsukaze ryō)
  • University House Sanjo (ユニバーシティ・ハウス三条, University House Sanjo)
  • International House (国際交流会館, Kokusai kōryū kaikan)

The 21st Century Center Of Excellence Programs[edit]

Fiscal Year Field Program Title
2002 Life Sciences Future Medical Engineering based on Bio-nanotechnology
Chemistry, material sciences International Center of Research & Education for Unexplored Chemistry
International Center of Research & Education for Materials
Information sciences, electrical and electronic engineering System Construction of Global-Network Oriented Information Electronics
Humanities A Strategic and Education Center for an Integrated Approach to Language and Cognition
2003 Medical sciences Center for Innovative Therapeutic Development for Common Diseases
Mathematics, physics, earth sciences Exploring New Science by Bridging Particle-Matter Hierarchy
Advanced Science and Technology Center for the Dynamic Earth
Mechanical, civil, architectural and other fields of engineering The Exploration of the Frontiers of Mechanical Science Based on Nanotechnology
International COE of Flow Dynamics
Social sciences Center for the Study of Social Stratification and Inequality
Gender Law and Policy Center
2004 New scientific fields Comprehensive Research and Education Center for Planning of Drug Development and Clinical Evaluation

Academic rankings[edit]

University rankings
THE National[17] General 1
T. Reuters National[18] Research 4
Shimano National[19] Selectivity SA
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[20]
General 9
ARWU Asia[21] Research 8
THE World[22] General 132
QS World[23] General 77
ARWU World[21] Research 101-150
ENSMP World[4] Alumni 13
Program rankings


QS World[24]General 56


T.Reuters National[25]Research 1
T.Reuters World[25]Research 3


T.Reuters National[25]Research 2
T.Reuters World[25]Research 10


T.Reuters National[25]Research 4
T.Reuters World[25]Research 20


T.Reuters National[25]Research 7
T.Reuters World[25]Research 113
Life Sciences


T.Reuters National[25]Research 6
T.Reuters World[25]Research 142


T.Reuters National[25]Research 3
T.Reuters World[25]Research 64
* T. Reuters World rankings include non-educational institutions

Tohoku University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It can be seen in the several rankings such as shown below.

General rankings[edit]

Tohoku University has been ranked first in the 2020 Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings.[26]

According to 2011 QS World University Rankings[27] the university rose to 70th having dropped out of the top 100 in 2010 to 102nd, and having been 97th in the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings).

It was also ranked 49th worldwide according to the Global University Ranking in 2009.[28]

Research performance[edit]

Tohoku University is one of the top research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Tohoku University is the fourth best research university in Japan.[18] Its research excellence is especially distinctive in Materials Science (1st in Japan, third in the world), Physics (2nd in Japan, tenth in the world), Pharmacology & Toxicology (3rd in Japan, 64th in the world) and Chemistry (6th in Japan, 20th in the world).[29]

Times Higher Education also reported that Tohoku University was ranked 3rd in Japan (201st - 250th in the world) for the World University Rankings 2022 by Subject: social sciences.[30] The social sciences ranking includes the weightings such as Research: volume, income and reputation (accounts for 32.6 per cent) and Citations: research influence (accounts for 25 per cent).[31]

In addition, Nature Index ranked Tohoku University as 5th in Japan (103rd in the world, 38th in Asia Pacific) on 2022 tables: Institutions.[32] The 2022 tables are based on Nature Index data from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. Before the 2022 edition, Nature Index also ranked Tohoku University as 5th in Japan (77th in the world, 28th in Asia Pacific) on 2021 tables: Institutions, that are based on Nature Index data from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.[33]

According to the Qs World university rankings on 2012/9 surveyed about the general standards in Engineering&Technology field, Tohoku university was placed 56th (world), fifth (national).[34]

As Tohoku University has been emphasizing 'practical' research, Tohoku received the top place for its number of patents accepted (324) during 2009 among Japanese Universities.[35]

Graduate school rankings[edit]

Tohoku University Law School is one of the most famous Law schools in Japan, as it was ranked fifth in the passing rate of Japanese Bar Examination in 2020.[36]

Alumni rankings[edit]

Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities ranks Tohoku University as 13th in the world (5th in Japan) in 2011 in terms of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.[37]

Popularity and selectivity[edit]

Tohoku University is one of the most selective universities in Japan. Its entrance difficulty is usually considered one of the top in Japan. Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks its entrance difficulty as SA (most selective/out of 11 scales) in Japan.[38]

Evaluation from business world[edit]

The university ranking according to the order of the evaluation by Personnel Departments of Leading Companies in Japan
Japan 3rd[39] (out of 788[40] universities in Japan as of 2021)
Source 2021 Nikkei Survey[41] to all listed (3,714[42]) and leading unlisted (1,100), totally 4,850 companies[41]


Successive presidents[edit]

Akihisa Inoue (left) talked with James P. Zumwalt (chargé d'affaires) and Ann Kambara at Tohoku University in 2009.

Notable people associated with Tohoku University[edit]

Many world-class celebrities have attended or served at Tohoku University.



Literature and art[edit]

Mathematic, economics and business[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Designated National University | Tohoku University Global Site
  2. ^ "Japan University Rankings 2022". Times Higher Education (THE). 2022-03-16. Retrieved 2022-07-06.
  3. ^ "Japan University Rankings 2020". 19 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b "ENSMP World University Rankings" (PDF). École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  5. ^ Tohoku University Annual Review Tohoku University's official website accessed June 2018
  6. ^ on castle grounds,, Retrieved 17 August 2016
  7. ^ a b "History of Tohoku University Campus". Tohoku University. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Important notices from Tohoku University (11:00 AM, March 14th, 2011)".
  9. ^ Organizations with ties to CCEP CCEP, accessed 2011-03-19
  10. ^ Research Institute of Electrical Communication On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  11. ^ Institute of Development Aging and Cancer On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  12. ^ Institute of Fluid Science On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  13. ^ Institute for Material Research Archived 2007-08-17 at the Wayback Machine On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  14. ^ Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials On Tohoku University's official website accessed at December 15, 2008
  15. ^ "IRIDeS - International Research Institute of Disaster Science". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  16. ^ "ToMMo | Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization". ToMMo | Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization (in Japanese). 2015-02-10. Retrieved 2021-12-24.
  17. ^ "Japan University Rankings 2022". Times Higher Education. 2022. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  18. ^ a b "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2022. (this raking includes 5 non-educational institutions)
  19. ^ "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  20. ^ "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  21. ^ a b "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  22. ^ "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  23. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  24. ^ "QS topuniversities world rankings in Engineering field". Topuniversities. 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Thomson Reuters 10 Top research institutions by subject in Japan" (in Japanese). Thomson Reuters. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  26. ^ 「THE世界大学ランキング日本版2020」東北大学が初のトップに|THE世界大学ランキング 日本版
  27. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2011/12". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
  28. ^[bare URL PDF]
  29. ^ "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan" (in Japanese). Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. (this ranking includes non-educational institutions)
  30. ^ "World University Rankings 2022 by subject: social sciences". Times Higher Education (THE). 2021-09-28. Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  31. ^ "World University Rankings 2022 by subject: social sciences methodology". Times Higher Education (THE). 2021-10-06. Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  32. ^ "2022 tables: Institutions | Annual tables | Nature Index". Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  33. ^ "2021 tables: Institutions | Annual tables | Nature Index". Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  34. ^ "QS world university ranking(2012)". Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  35. ^ "13.2009年国内大学別特許公開件数 | 特許庁 アーカイブ" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  36. ^ "令和2年司法試験法科大学院等別合格者数等(合格率順)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  38. ^ 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011. ASIN 4753930181.
  39. ^ Survey on the image seen from human resources personnel:Ranking of the ability to get jobs|Nikkei HR 2021.06.02 release
  40. ^ The number of universities in Japan is 788 as of April 1, 2021.|Ōbun Sha
  41. ^ a b Image held by human resources personnel of companies of Japan / Valuation from the ex-students already employed / The Nikkei・Nikkei HR Survey 2021-06-02
  42. ^ Number of listed companies & listed shares of stock|JPX
  43. ^ Garcia, Alejandro V.; Cowles, Robert A.; Kato, Tomoaki; Hardy, Mark A. (2012-05-01). "Morio Kasai: a remarkable impact beyond the Kasai procedure". Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 47 (5): 1023–1027. doi:10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2012.01.065. ISSN 1531-5037. PMC 3356564. PMID 22595595.
  44. ^ CNN rebroadcasting NHK, 13 March 2011.
  45. ^ "草原名人:开创蒙古语言研究黄金时期的清格尔泰 (zh) Cǎoyuán míngrén: Kāichuàng ménggǔ yǔyán yánjiū huángjīn shíqí de qīng gé ěr tài [Famous man of the steppe: Chinggaltai, who pioneered the golden age of Mongolian language research]". People's Daily. 2007-07-19. Retrieved 2010-06-02.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°15′15″N 140°52′25″E / 38.25417°N 140.87361°E / 38.25417; 140.87361