About Tokyo Tech

History

Early years (1881-1929)

Tokyo Tech's history spans more than 130 years. Tokyo Tech originated as the Tokyo Vocational School in 1881, survived the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the ensuing campus move from Kuramae to Ookayama in 1924, saw the change of status to a degree conferring university in 1929, and continues from the present day into the future.

Tokyo Vocational School

In the early Meiji period, soon after the opening of the country, it became imperative that Japan cultivate human resources to develop modern industrial technology. The government was actively promoting the technical education of its citizens at this time in order to develop the advanced science and technology that was already common in Europe and the United States. Against this background, Japan's first national technical school, the Kogakuryo Technical School, was founded by the Ministry of Engineering in 1873.

Around the same time, the Ministry of Education founded the Seisakugaku Kyojo in 1874 at the suggestion of Gottfried Wagener, a German-born scientist. Wagener had been vocal about the necessity of practical technical education in Japan in order to cultivate senior engineers and engineers. Although the Seisakugaku Kyojo closed three years later, it was a revolutionary school in that students were taught practical skills along with scientific theories to produce engineers necessary for modernizing Japanese industry.

Seiichi Tejima, who was then assistant director general of the Museum of Education, together with Wagener pushed for modern technical and industrial education with emphasis on practical applications. With the support of Ryuichi Kuki and Arata Hamao of the Ministry of Education, they succeeded in persuading the Ministry to establish the Tokyo Vocational School in May 1881.

  • Gottfried Wagener

    Gottfried Wagener

  • Tokyo Vocational School

    Tokyo Vocational School

Wherever there's a chimney, there you will find someone from Kuramae

Preparations for opening the school began. A curriculum was established in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Tokyo Vocational School enacted in 1881. These rules stated that the school should provide the necessary technical and industrial science education to become a vocational school teacher or senior engineer. Kuramae in Taito City near the Sumida River was chosen as the site for the campus. Kuramae means the storehouse front and the name comes from the rice storehouses of the Tokugawa Shogunate located there.

Taizo Masaki was the first principal of the school and the first classes were held in 1882 in two departments: the Department of Machinery and the Department of Applied Chemistry. The Tokyo Vocational School graduated its first class in July 1887. Initially the school had a hard time recruiting students, because technical skills were traditionally handed down in Japan in an apprenticeship system. The shift from apprenticeship to modern technical education had only just begun. In 1884, Wagener started to teach at the school in accordance with the principles and methods of the former Seisakugaku Kyojo. He developed modern technology for large-scale production in manufacturing industries such as ceramics, glass, and lacquerware. Wagener provided the foundation for Tokyo Tech's later advancements as industrial manufacturing took root in Japan.

In 1890, Seiichi Tejima took over Masaki's job and became principal of the school. Tejima had gone to the United States to study when he was 21 years old and was the interpreter of the Iwakura Mission, a Japanese diplomatic mission that traveled around the world. He later assumed the role of assistant director general of the Museum of Education and went to the Paris and Philadelphia World Expositions. From these experiences Tejima became a pioneer advocate of technical education in Japan. The Tokyo Vocational School was renamed Tokyo Technical School in 1890 and then Tokyo Higher Technical School in 1901. Numerous leaders in academia and industry passed through the doors during the 25-year period in which Tejima led the school.

An adage arose during the years of the Tokyo Technical School. "Wherever there's a chimney, there you will find someone from Kuramae," meaning that wherever there was a large-scale industrial complex, a graduate of the school had been involved in its establishment. Kuramae remained the center of technical education until the school was burned to the ground on September 1, 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake struck.

  • Seiichi Tejima

    Seiichi Tejima

  • Main Building of Tokyo Higher Technical School

    Main Building of Tokyo Higher Technical School

Tokyo Higher Technical School moved to Ookayama in 1924. The school became a degree-conferring university in 1929. It was initially called Tokyo University of Engineering, and later renamed Tokyo Institute of Technology around 1946.

1946 correspondence of the Ministry of Education
1946 correspondence of the Ministry
of Education

Japanese manuscript with the university's English name edited
Japanese manuscript with the university's English name edited

English replies to the questionnaire on students' welfare

English replies to the questionnaire on students' welfare

For details visit Tokyo Institute of Technology 130th Anniversary in 2011 (Japanese)outer

Timeline of Tokyo Tech milestones in history

2016-2010

2016

April
  • Tokyo Tech's education and research organizations reform implemented.
  • Six new schools spanning undergraduate and graduate education established: School of Science, School of Engineering, School of Materials and Chemical Technology, School of Computing, School of Life Science and Technology, and School of Environment and Society.
  • New schools replace former School of Science and School of Engineering, School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, and Graduate School of Innovation Management.
  • Institute for Liberal Arts (ILA) established.
  • International Student Center, Foreign Language Research and Teaching Center, and Center for Liberal Arts reorganized into ILA.
  • Institute of Innovative Research (IIR) established, comprising Laboratory for Future Interdisciplinary Research of Science and Technology, Laboratory for Materials and Structures, Laboratory for Chemistry and Life Science, Laboratory for Advanced Nuclear Energy, International Research Center of Advanced Energy Systems for Sustainability, Advanced Research Center for Social Information Science and Technology, and ten research units.
  • Establishments reorganized into IIR: Chemical Resources Laboratory, Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, Materials and Structures Laboratory, Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors, Imaging Science and Engineering Laboratory, Frontier Research Center, Solutions Research Laboratory, Quantum Nanoelectronics Research Center, Structural Engineering Research Center, ICE Cube Center, and Integrated Research Institute.
  • Center for Research in Advanced Financial Technology renamed as Center for Research in Financial Sciences.
  • Center for International Education established.
  • Career Advancement Professional School renamed as Tokyo Tech Professional Academy.
  • Research Center for Low Temperature Physics renamed as Research Support Center for Low-Temperature Science.
  • Conclusion of operations at: Research Center for Carbon Recycling and Energy, Center for Urban Earthquake Engineering, Bio-Frontier Research Center, Center for Agent-Based Social Systems Sciences, Center for Molecular Science and Technology, Center for Research into Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems, Super-Mechano Systems R&D Center, Center for the Study of World Civilizations, Photovoltaics Research Center, Inter-departmental Organization for Informatics; Inter-departmental Organization for Environment and Energy, Advanced Education Research Center, Organization for Life Design and Engineering, Earth Database Center, and International Research Center for Nanoscience and Quantum Physics.
  • University Reform Headquarters and Collaborative Organization for International Education and Research reorganized into newly established Office of Institutional Planning.

Details of Organizational Changes in April 2016PDF

July
  • Conclusion of operations at Campus Improvement Projects Office.

2015

April
  • Conclusion of operations at Center for Research and Development of Educational Technology. Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning established. Compliance Office reorganized into Office for the Appropriate Management of Education and Research Funds.
  • Collaborative Research Center for Happiness Co-Creation Society through Intelligent Communications established.
  • Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support established.
July
  • Crisis Management Office reorganized into Compliance and Crisis Management Office.
December
  • Tokyo Tech Advisory Board established.

2014

April
  • Conclusion of operations at Research Center for the Science of Institutional Management of Technology, Osmotic Power Research Center, and Global Edge Institute.
July
  • Headquarters for the Promotion of Education Reform renamed as University Reform Headquarters.
December
  • Collaborative Organization for International Education and Research established.

2013

April
  • Center for University Communications and Coordination and Office for the 130th Anniversary Project reorganized into Public Outreach Office.
  • Department of Communications and Integrated Systems renamed as Department of Communications and Computer Engineering.
  • Research Center for Educational Facilities reorganized.
  • Conclusion of operations at Research Center for the Evolving Earth and Planets.
  • Conclusion of operations at Center for CompView Research and Education.
  • Research Center for Nanometer-Scale Quantum Physics reorganized into International Research Center for Nanoscience and Quantum Physics.
  • Innovator and Inventor Development Platform established.
  • Conclusion of operations at Productive Leader Incubation Platform.
August
  • Conclusion of operations at International Research Center of Macromolecular Science.
October
  • Research Project Support Center reorganized into Research Administration Center.

2012

April
  • Conclusion of operations at Emerging Nanomaterial Research Center.
  • Conclusion of operations at Center for Photonic Nano-Device Integrated Engineering.
  • Conclusion of operations at Tokyo Tech Archive Initiative.

2011

January
  • Center for Liberal Arts established.

2010

November
  • Research Center for Low Temperature Physics (Research and Service Centers) reorganized into Research Center for Low Temperature Physics (Common Facilities).
    Organization for Life Design and Engineering established.
  • Conclusion of operations at Strategic Management Office.
October
  • Energy Conservation Promotion Office established.
April
  • Microsystem Research Center reorganized into Photonics Integration System Research Center (affiliated with Precision and Intelligence Laboratory).
    International Nuclear Research Cooperation Center (affiliated with Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors) established.
    Imaging Science and Engineering Laboratory (affiliated with Graduate School of Science and Engineering) reorganized into Imaging Science and Engineering Laboratory.
    Frontier Research Center reorganized.
    Solutions Research Laboratory established.
    Research Center for Carbon Recycling and Energy (Research and Service Centers) reorganized into Research Center for Carbon Recycling and Energy (Common Facilities).
    Advanced Education Research Center established.
    Osmotic Power Research Center established.
  • Conclusion of operations at Large-scale Knowledge Resources Center.
    Integrated Research Institute reorganized.

2009-2000

2009

November
  • Multidisciplinary Research Center for Energy Science reorganized into Inter-departmental Organization for Environment and Energy.
August
  • Research Project Support Center established.
May
  • University Management Center established.
April
  • Multidisciplinary Research Center for Energy Science, Career Advancement Professional School, and Tokyo Tech Archive Initiative established.
March
  • Tokyo Tech Front established.

2008

July
  • Gender Equality Center and Productive Leader Incubation Platform established.
May
  • Asia-Africa Biology Research Center established.
April
  • Secure Device Research Center (affiliated with Precision and Intelligence Laboratory) established. Photovoltaics Research Center established.
  • Inter-departmental Organization for Informatics established.

2007

November
  • Frontier Collaborative Research Center, 80th Anniversary Center for Research Admission Office, Venture Business Laboratory and Incubation Center merged into new Frontier Research Center.
October
  • Information Infrastructure Management Office established.
  • Center for Public Relations and Coordination reorganized into Center for Public Affairs and Communications and Center for University Communications and Coordination.
April
  • New Admission Office and Technical Department established.

2006

December
  • Center for Photonic Nano-Device Integrated Engineering established.
July
  • Global Edge Institute established.
April
  • Center for Materials Design (affiliated with Materials and Structures Laboratory) reorganized into Secure Materials Center.
  • Super-Mechano Systems R&D Center, Student Services Center, and Center for the Study of World Civilizations established.
January
  • Center for Research into Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems established.

2005

October
  • Integrated Research Institute established.
September
  • Emerging Nanomaterial Research Center established.
April
  • Graduate School of Innovation Management established.
  • Technical High School attached to School of Engineering reorganized into Tokyo Tech High School of Science and Technology.
  • Center for Research in Advanced Financial Technology reorganized.
  • Large-scale Knowledge Resource Center, Research Center for Nanometer-Scale Quantum Physics, Bio-Frontier Research Center, Center for Agent Based Social Systems Sciences, Center for Molecular Science and Technology, Research Center for the Evolving Earth and Planets, Research Center for the Science of Institutional Management of Technology, and Collaboration Center for Design and Manufacturing (CODAMA) established.
  • Department of Information Processing and Department of Advanced Applied Electronics (both Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering) integrated and reorganized into Department of Electronics and Applied Physics and new Department of Information Processing.

2004

April
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology reestablished as independent administrative institution "National University Corporation Tokyo Institute of Technology."
  • Research Center for Quantum Effect Electronics reorganized into Quantum Nanoelectronics Research Center.
  • Planning Office and Financial Management Office established.

2003

September
  • Center for Urban Earthquake Engineering established.
  • Office of Industry Liaison established.
May
  • Research and Development Center for Educational Facilities reorganized into Research Center for Educational Facilities.
  • Gene Research Center, Research Center for Experimental Biology, and Radioisotope Research Center integrated into Center for Biological Resources and Informatics.
    Department of Precision Machinery Systems renamed as Department of Mechano-Micro Engineering.

2002

October
  • General Safety Management Center and Center for Public Relations and Coordination established.
April
  • Research Center for Carbon Recycling and Utilization reorganized into Research Center for Carbon Recycling and Energy.
    Evaluation Office and International Planning Office established.

2001

May
  • Nagatsuta Campus renamed as Suzukakedai Campus.
April
  • Computer Center and International Cooperation Center for Science and Technology reorganized into Global Scientific Information and Computing Center.
  • Research Center for Very Low Temperature System reorganized into Research Center for Low Temperature Physics.

2000

April
  • Kusatu-Shirane Volcano Observatory reorganized into Volcanic Fluid Research Center.

1999-1980

1999

April
  • Center for Research in Advanced Financial Technology established.

1998

April
  • Center for Research Cooperation and Information Exchange reorganized into Frontier Collaborative Research Center.

1997

April
  • Radioisotope Research Center established.

1996

May
  • Foreign Language Research and Teaching Center established.
  • Research Laboratory of Engineering Materials reorganized into Materials and Structures Laboratory.
April
  • Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology established.

1994

June
  • Education Center for Foreign Students reorganized into International Student Center.
  • Research Center for Quantum Effect Electronics and Research Center for Experimental Biology established.
April
  • Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering established.

1993

April
  • Research Center for Educational Facilities reorganized into Research and Development Center for Educational Facilities.

1992

April
  • Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology established on Nagatsuta Campus (present-day Suzukakedai Campus).
  • Research Center for Carbon Recycling and Utilization established.

1991

April
  • Experimental Center for Very Low Temperature and Energy Techniques (est. 1981) reorganized into Research Center for Very Low Temperature Systems.

1990

June
  • School of Bioscience and Biotechnology established on Nagatsuta Campus (present-day Suzukakedai Campus).

1989

May
  • Gene Research Center established in Ookayama (moving later to Suzukakedai Campus).

1988

April
  • Education Center for Foreign Students and Kusatsu-Shirane Volcano Observatory established.

1983

April
  • Research Center for Educational Facilities established.

1982

April
  • Center for Research Cooperation and Information Exchange established.

1979-1881

1979

April
  • International Cooperation Center for Science and Technology established.

1976

May
  • Computer Center established.

1975

April
  • Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering established at Nagatsuta Campus (present-day Suzukakedai Campus).

1971

April
  • Health Service Center established.

1967

June
  • School of Science and Engineering divided into School of Science and School of Engineering.
  • Tokyo Tech's Affiliated Technical High School attached to School of Engineering.

1964

April
  • Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors established.

1958

March
  • Research Laboratory of Building Materials and Research Laboratory of Ceramic Industry integrated and reorganized into Research Laboratory of Engineering Materials.

1956

April
  • Graduate School of Engineering renamed as Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

1955

July
  • School of Engineering renamed as School of Science and Engineering.

1954

April
  • Tokyo Tech's six Research Laboratories: Research Laboratory of Building Materials, Research Laboratory of Resources Utilization, Research Laboratory of Precision Machinery, Research Laboratory of Ceramic Industry, Research Laboratory of Electronics, and Research Laboratory of Fuel Science (est. 1934, 1939, 1939, 1943, 1944, and 1944 respectively) integrated and reorganized into four research laboratories: Research Laboratory of Building Materials, Research Laboratory of Resources Utilization, Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, and Research Laboratory of Ceramic Industry.

1953

April
  • Graduate School of Engineering established.

1951

April
  • Affiliated High School of Telecommunications (Denpa Kogei High School) and Affiliated High School of Mechanics & Industrial Design (Kogei High School) of Tokyo Engineering College (affiliated to Chiba University) integrated into Affiliated Technical High School.

1949

May
  • Enactment of National School Establishment Law prompted reorganization of Tokyo Institute of Technology to comply with national education system reform, extending three-year course to four years and establishing School of Engineering.

1929

April
  • Status of Tokyo Higher Technical School elevated to degree-conferring university, later renamed Tokyo Institute of Technology.

1924

April
  • Tokyo Higher Technical School moved from Kuramae to Ookayama.

1901

May
  • Tokyo Technical School renamed as Tokyo Higher Technical School.

1890

March
  • Tokyo Vocational School renamed as Tokyo Technical School.

1881

May
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology founded by Japanese government as Tokyo Vocational School.