History of Osaka University
Let's take a look at Osaka University's 175-year-old history.
Kaitokudo, established as a place of learning in 1724 for merchants in Amagasaki-cho in Osaka (currently Imabashi, Chuo-ku), is considered to be a root for the School of Letters. Kaitokudo was a place of learning for many citizens, both young and old. Thanks to a wide variety of lessons in subjects such as Chinese characters, Japanese studies, prose and poetry, as well as to its unconstrained environment allowing students to be absent for reasons such as business, Kaitokudo prospered for some 150 years as a center of learning in western Japan.
The appeal of Kaitokudo rested in its being a place of learning where anyone, both employers and employees, could study advanced scholarship. Unfortunately, during WWII, Kaitokudo was destroyed. Following the war and the addition of the School of Law and Letters to Osaka University, surviving collections of historical books possessed by Kaitokudo were passed on to Osaka University. These book collections are symbolic of the original scholarship, thought, and culture that Osaka University inherited from Osaka City.
OGATA Koan was a competent scholar of Western medicine which he had studied in Edo and Nagasaki. Although he came from Ashimori-han, Bicchu (currently Ashimori, Kita-ku, Okayama), in 1838 he came to Kawara-machi, Osaka, and built a private school and clinic called Tekijuku.
Seven years later, Tekijuku was moved to Kasho-machi (currently, 3 Kitahama, Chuo-ku, Osaka) where much of the original school building still remains. Tekijuku was involved in research into vaccination and cholera treatment for 25 years, teaching nearly 1,000 students.
Tekijuku's spirit of “For people, for society, for the nation, and for benevolence,” was passed on to Osaka Provisional Hospital begun by Koan's second son Koreyoshi and the Dutch doctor Anthonius Franciscus Bauduin in 1869. Later this spirit infused the founding of Osaka Medical School and Osaka Prefecture Medical College. In this way, Osaka University continues to carry on the legacy of OGATA Koan.
- The birth of Osaka Imperial University, the 6th imperial university
Although many members of the Imperial Diet opposed the founding of a new imperial university in the midst of the worldwide depression, thanks to enthusiastic activities by the then Osaka governor coupled with the support of many citizens, the calls to build a comprehensive university in Osaka (which was larger than Tokyo), were finally answered in 1931.
Thus, the imperial university that citizens in Osaka had longed for was finally established. In this way, thanks to its citizens, Osaka Imperial University's founding resembles that of Kaitokudo and Tekijuku, institutions that came into being through the efforts of citizens.
In accordance with national policies of that time, Osaka Imperial University became one of the nation's highest education and research institutes. Osaka Imperial University, the 6th imperial university, began with just two schools -- the School of Medicine and the School of Science.
- Osaka University
- Research-oriented comprehensive university
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