Integration of Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies


Common traits between Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies

Translation of the address given by Osaka University President, WASHIDA Kiyokazu, on October 1, 2007

Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies, both of which have long histories with many traditions, become one today.
Osaka University, formerly the sixth Imperial University, was founded at Nakanoshima, Osaka, in 1931. Osaka University began with just two schools: Medicine and Science. In the following years, it merged with other universities and schools in the surrounding areas and began to exert a strong presence as a leading Japanese comprehensive university.
Osaka University of Foreign Studies --originally founded in Uehonmachi, Osaka, in 1921 as Osaka School of Foreign Languages with majors in nine language-- developed remarkably as the leading school for foreign language study in western Japan. These two universities, one from the north and one from the south [of Osaka Prefecture], are now located in Hokusetsu, making possible this merger. When I think of it, I cannot help feeling historical significance in this development.
SHIBA Ryotaro, a 1994 graduate of Osaka School of Foreign Languages with a major in Mongolian, wrote the following at the beginning of his novel Kashin .
" Tekijuku , a private place for the study long ago of Western medicine in Kita Senba, Osaka, is considered the predecessor of Osaka University. It is commonly thought that, just as a religion needs a leader, it is desirable for private schools to have an illustrious founder. In that sense, Osaka University, although launched by the government, possesses a curious lineage since it has a founder, a feature purportedly limited to a private school."
The founding of Osaka Imperial University, a university that inherited the spirit of Kaitokudo and Tekijuku , was achieved through ardent appeals by political and business leaders in Osaka to the national government. Its founding also realized the earnest wishes of local citizens. On the other hand, Osaka University of Foreign Studies was founded thanks to a donation of one million yen by HAYASHI Choko, an Osaka business woman. She donated the money to the national government, insisting that Osaka needed to build a school to develop internationally-minded people.
In this way, the two universities that form the present Osaka University have similar roots. In modern parlance, we have similar "genes." Using these shared genes, both will continue to work toward becoming the best university for making contributions not only to Japan but also to humanity.

Symbol of the Merger

Each sphere represents one of the university's 11 schools, including the School of Foreign Studies. This symbol represents the merger of Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies to form a "ring." The image of a ring also implies "harmony." That is to say, in Japanese the word "ring" is a homonym for "harmony" -- both words are pronounced "wa" in Japanese. The ring also forms an "O", the "O" in Osaka University. The color of the symbol is the blue school color of Osaka University.

Ceremony commemorating the merger of Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies

October 1, 2007

The ceremony to commemorate the merger of Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies was held at Rihga Royal Hotel on October 1, 2007. Attended by about 500 people from both universities, following a speech by President WASHIDA, Kiyokazu, TAMAI Hideo, a scientist from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) read a congratulatory speech on behalf of TOKAI Kisaburo, chief minister at MEXT. Next, the director and president of Kyoto University, OIKE Kazuo, followed with a congratulatory speech from KOMIYAMA Hiroshi, the president of The University of Tokyo. After these messages, participants from overseas universities with academic exchange agreements with Osaka University were introduced and the university mixed choir sang several songs, including the Osaka University school song. Winding up the ceremony, the symbol (shown above) created for this occasion was unveiled.

At the celebration following the ceremony, President WASHIDA gave a short speech of appreciation. Congratulations followed, delivered by KANEMORI Junjiro, a former Osaka University President and IKEDA Osamu, a former Osaka University of Foreign Studies President. Finally, a toast was made by MIYAHARA Hideo, a former Osaka University President and KORENAGA Tsutomu, a former Osaka University of Foreign Studies President, two leaders who were instrumental in realizing the merger. The warm atmosphere was made more festive by the contribution of cheers from Osaka University cheerleading groups.

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Ceremony marking the unveiling of the Minoh campus nameplate

October 1, 2007

The nameplate of Osaka University at the main gate of Minoh Campus was unveiled in a ceremony on October 1, 2007. The following individuals attended the unveiling ceremony, celebrating the start of the new Osaka University campus: President WASHIDA Kiyokazu, Vice Presidents NISHIDA Shogo and KOIZUMI Junji, Dean of the School of Foreign Studies SUGIMOTO Takashi, Director at the Research Institute for World Languages TAKAHASHI Akira, and Director of the Center for Japanese Language and Culture OKUNISHI Shunsuke.

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