Kyoto University, or Kyodai is a national university in Kyoto, Japan. It is the
second oldest Japanese university, one of Asia’s highest ranked universities and
one of Japan’s National Seven Universities. One of Asia’s leading research-
oriented institutions, Kyoto University is famed for producing world-class
researchers, including ten Nobel Prize laureates, (including Sin’ichirō
Tomonaga) two Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize winner.
Kyoto University’s forerunner was the Chemistry School founded in Osaka in 1869,
which, despite its name, taught physics as well.It is a transcription of a Dutch
word chemie. Later, the Third Higher School was established in the place of
Seimi-kyoku in 1886, it then transferred to the university’s present main campus
in the same year.
Kyoto Imperial University as a part of the Imperial University system was
established on June 18, 1897, using the Third Higher School’s buildings. The
higher school moved to a patch of land across the street, where the Yoshida
South Campus stands today. In the same year of the university’s establishment,
the College of Science and Technology was founded. The College of Law and the
College of Medicine were founded in 1899, the College of Letters in 1906,
expanding the university’s activities to areas outside natural science.
After World War II, the current Kyoto University was established by merging the
imperial university and the Third Higher School, which assumed the duty of
teaching liberal arts as the Faculty of Liberal Arts . The faculty was dissolved
with the foundation of the Faculty of Integrated Human Studies in 1992.
Kyoto University has since 2004 been incorporated as a national university
corporation under a new law which applies to all national universities.
Despite the incorporation which has led to increased financial independence and
autonomy, Kyoto University is still partly controlled by the Japanese Ministry
The University’s Department of Geophysics and their Disaster Prevention Research
Institute are represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake