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Waseda University

Waseda University
Motto 学問の独立
(Independence of Learning)
Established 1882
Type Private
Endowment N/A
President Kaoru Kamata
Academic staff
2,137 full-time
3,318 part-time
Administrative staff
819 full-time
445 part-time
Undergraduates 44,295
Postgraduates 9,281[1]
Location Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Campus Urban
Athletics 43 varsity teams
Colors Maroon     [2]

Waseda Bear (official)

Affiliations Universitas 21, APRU
Website Waseda University
Waseda University is located in Special wards of Tokyo
Waseda University
Tokyo city
Waseda University students in 1916

Waseda University (早稲田大学 Waseda Daigaku), abbreviated as Sōdai (早大), is a private university mainly located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan. As the second private university to be founded in Japan, Waseda University is considered to be one of Japan's most prestigious universities, consistently ranking amongst the top universities in Japanese university rankings. The university has many notable alumni in Japan, with seven Prime Ministers of Japan and many CEOs, including Tadashi Yanai, the CEO of UNIQLO.

Established in 1882 as the Tōkyō Senmon Gakkō or Tōkyō College by Ōkuma Shigenobu, the school was renamed Waseda University in 1902 after the founder's hometown village. The university consists of 13 undergraduate schools and 23 graduate schools, and is one of the 13 universities in the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's "Global 30" Project.[3]

The university holds a memorandum of agreement with Cambridge University, the University of Hong Kong, and Yale University among its 432 partnership institutions in 79 countries.


  • Institution 1
    • History and development 1.1
    • Origin of the name 1.2
    • Academic cap 1.3
    • 125th anniversary 1.4
    • Campuses 1.5
    • Undergraduate and Graduate Schools 1.6
    • Research institutes 1.7
  • Facilities 2
    • Ōkuma Auditorium 2.1
    • Ōkuma Garden 2.2
    • Libraries and museums 2.3
  • Athletics 3
    • Cheerleading 3.1
    • Baseball 3.2
    • Football 3.3
    • Rugby union 3.4
    • Karate 3.5
  • Notable alumni 4
    • Prime ministers 4.1
    • Politics 4.2
    • Diplomats 4.3
    • Business leaders 4.4
    • Academics 4.5
    • Authors 4.6
    • Journalists 4.7
    • Performing arts 4.8
    • Sports 4.9
      • Baseball 4.9.1
      • Figure skating 4.9.2
      • Football 4.9.3
      • Martial arts 4.9.4
      • Rugby 4.9.5
      • Other 4.9.6
    • Others 4.10
  • Notable current students 5
    • Sports 5.1
    • Performing arts 5.2
  • Notable faculty 6
  • Principals, de facto presidents (1907–1923), and presidents 7
    • Principals 7.1
    • De facto presidents (1907–1923) 7.2
    • Presidents 7.3
  • Academic rankings 8
    • General rankings 8.1
    • Research performance 8.2
    • Graduate school rankings 8.3
    • Alumni rankings 8.4
    • Popularity and selectivity 8.5
  • Trustees 9
  • Benefactors 10
  • Scandals 11
  • See also 12
  • Notes 13
  • References 14
  • Further reading 15
  • External links 16


History and development

The university was founded by samurai scholar and Meiji-era politician and former prime minister Ōkuma Shigenobu in 1882, and was designated as a full university in 1902. It started as a college with three departments under the old Japanese system of higher education.

In 1882, the university had the department of political science and economics, law, and physical science. Along with these departments, an English language course was established, where the students of all the departments could learn English.[4]

Three years later, the department of physical science was closed because it had too few applicants.[5] The department of science and engineering was established in 1908.[6]

The department of literature was established in 1890.[7]

The department of education was established in 1903, and the department of commerce, in 1904.[8]

Much of the campus was destroyed in the fire bombings of Tokyo during World War II, but the university was rebuilt and reopened by 1949. It has grown to become a comprehensive university with two senior high schools and school of art and architecture.

Origin of the name

Waseda University started its life as Tōkyō Senmon Gakkō (東京専門学校) on October 21, 1882. Before the name 'Waseda' was selected, it was known variously as Waseda Gakkō (早稲田学校) or Totsuka Gakkō (戸塚学校) after the location of the founder's villa in Waseda Village and the school's location in Totsuka Village respectively.

It was renamed Waseda University (早稲田大学 Waseda-daigaku) on September 2, 1902 upon acquiring university status.

Academic cap

Ōkuma had long desired to create an academic cap so distinctive that someone wearing the cap would immediately be identified as a Waseda student. The chief tailor of Takashimaya, Yashichiro, was called upon to design a cap in three days. Each square cap was stamped on the inside with the student's name, his department, the school seal and the legend, "This certifies that the owner is a student of Waseda". Thus, the cap served as a form of identification, and effectively a status symbol. The cap, with its gold-braided badge, is registered as a trademark.

125th anniversary

On October 21, 2007, Waseda University celebrated its 125th anniversary. Ōkuma often talked about the "125 years of life" theory: "The lifespan of a human being can be as long as 125 years. He will be able to live out his natural lifespan as long as he takes proper care of his health", because "physiologists say that every animal has the ability to live five times as long as its growth period. Since a man is said to require about 25 years to become fully mature, it follows that he can live up to 125 years of age." This theory propounded by Ōkuma was very popular and often referred to in the media of the time.

In commemorative events relating to Waseda University and Ōkuma, the number 125 is accorded special significance, as it marks an important epoch. The tower of Ōkuma Auditorium, completed on the university's 45th anniversary, is 125 shaku, or about 38 m high. In 1963, there were also events to mark the 125th anniversary of Ōkuma Shigenobu's birth.

Ōkuma, who twice served as prime minister of Japan, organized his second cabinet when he was 77 and died when he was 83. He said, "I wish I had understood this '125 years of life' theory 30 years earlier". He did, however, lead a regular life, and lived fairly long compared to other Japanese at the time.


University's campus Gare station

Waseda University's main campus is located in the Nishi-Waseda district of Shinjuku. The nearest station is Waseda, although Waseda is generally associated with Takadanobaba on the Yamanote Line.

Apart from the main campus in Shinjuku, there are other campuses around the country:

  • Waseda (Main) Campus: Shinjuku, Tokyo (formerly known as the Nishi-Waseda Campus)
Waseda University

Undergraduate and Graduate Schools

Undergraduate Schools (Entrance Capacity 8880):

  • School of Political Science and Economics (900)
  • School of Law (740)
  • School of Culture, Media and Society (860)
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences (660)
  • School of Education (960)
  • School of Commerce (900)
  • School of Fundamental Science and Engineering (535)
  • School of Creative Science and Engineering (595)
  • School of Advanced Science and Engineering (540)
  • School of Social Sciences (630)
  • School of Human Sciences (560)
  • School of Sports Sciences (400)
  • School of International Liberal Studies (600)

Graduate Schools:

  • Graduate School of Political Science
  • Graduate School of Economics
  • Graduate School of Law
  • Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Graduate School of Commerce
  • Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering
  • Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering
  • Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Human Sciences
  • Graduate School of Social Sciences
  • Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies
  • Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics
  • Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems
  • Graduate School of Sports Sciences
  • Business School
  • The Okuma School of Public Management
  • Law School
  • Graduate School of Finance, Accounting and Law
  • Graduate School of Accountancy
  • Graduate School of Environment and Energy Engineering
  • Graduate School of Journalism

Research institutes

  • Kagami Memorial Laboratory for Materials Science and Technology
  • Institute for Comparative Law
  • The Institute for Research in Business Administration
  • Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs
  • Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences
  • Advanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering
  • Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Global Information and Telecommunication Institute
  • Institute for Advanced Studies in Education
  • Center for Japanese Language
  • Media Network Center
  • Environmental Research Institute
  • Environmental Safety Center
  • Center for Finance Research
  • Human Service Center
  • Comprehensive Research Organization (Project Research Institute)
  • Institute for Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
  • Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care
  • Information Technology Research Organization
  • Organization for Asian Studies
  • Waseda Institute for Advanced Study (WIAS)


Ōkuma Auditorium

The Ōkuma Memorial Hall, a contemporary building by architect Satō Kōichi.
Ōkuma Memorial Hall, Waseda University Campus

Soon after Ōkuma's death on January 10, 1922, the planning of memorials commenced. The first decision was to construct a large auditorium, something Ōkuma had always dreamed of.

The three-story main auditorium seats 1,435, while the secondary auditorium, located underground, can accommodate 382 people. A seven-story high clock tower stands to the left of the auditorium. The height of the tower, at 125 shaku, or about 38 m, represents the theory of "life of 125 years" advocated by Ōkuma. The bells at the top of the tower were transported through the Panama Canal from the MacLean Company in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first time that four bells, large and small, had been used in Japan.

Oval-shaped transom windows on the roof represent the sun, moon, and nine planets of our solar system, and symbolize the "harmony of the universe" both inside and outside the auditorium. The auditorium opened on October 20, 1927, about five years behind schedule, after the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. A Memorial Hall, constructed in 1957, was used as the fencing venue for the 1964 Summer Olympics.[9]

In April 1999, the auditorium along with the old library building were officially designated the first and second historical buildings under the newly passed Tokyo Metropolitan Landscape Regulations, which aim to preserve buildings representative of Tokyo's history and culture.

The auditorium was designated as one of the Important Cultural Properties of Japan by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2007.[10]

Ōkuma Garden

Ōkuma Garden

Ōkuma Garden is located near Ōkuma Auditorium. It is a half-Japanese, half-Western garden of Edo period feudal lord Matsudaira Sanuki's former mansion, redesigned by Shigenobu Ōkuma. After his death, the garden was donated to Waseda University. Now it is a recreation place for students.

Libraries and museums

The Waseda University Library, designed by Tachu Naitō, Kenji Imai and Kin'ichi Kiriyama, was completed in 1925. This five-story building, with a total area of 1,195 tsubo () (about 3,944 square meters), was used initially as the University Library. The reading room was housed in a separate two-story building, with a seating capacity of 500. One of the prominent libraries established at the end of the Taishō period, it has been a symbol of Waseda University to this day, along with the Okuma Auditorium and the Theatre Museum.

The Old Library and the administration building were expanded in 1934 and 1955 respectively. The Old Library stopped serving as a main library, after the New Central Library, located where the Abe Stadium used to be, was completed in 1990. It now houses Takata Sanae Memorial Research Library, the University Archives, and Aizu Yaichi Museum. Takata Sanae Memorial Research Library opened in 1994. It is named after former university president Takata Sanae. Historical and cultural materials on Waseda University are exhibited in the University Archives, and the materials related with Ōkuma Shigenobu are exhibited in the Ōkuma Memorial Room at the Archives. Aizu Yaichi Memorial Museum opened in 1998.

In the front hall, visitors are greeted by the masterpiece "Meian", which dates back to 1927. It is painted on the world's largest hand-made washi (Japanese paper), which is 4.45 meters in diameter and weighs about 12 kilograms. It was manufactured by Iwano Heisaburō, the founder of the Echizen paper works in Imadachi-cho, Fukui prefecture. The masterpiece was painted free of charge by Yokoyama Taikan and Shimomura Kanzan, two artists who represented the modern Japanese style of painting. President Takata Sanae asked them to paint a picture for the Library.

The library possesses a unique collection which survived the Bombing of Tokyo in World War II unlike many of its counterparts. The collection is an important resource for the study of pre-war Japanese history and literature.

Other museums and libraries on Waseda campuses include:



The Waseda University Cheerleading Club is the cheerleading club of Waseda University.


Two Waseda University baseball players from 1921.

Waseda's baseball team is known for their long history of success in Tokyo Big6 Baseball League. As of the end of the 2012 season, Waseda had won 43 championships along with the highest winning percentage.

They are also known for their rivalry with Keiō University, highlighted by the Sōkeisen series. The series is held twice a year in the spring and autumn at Meiji-Jingu Stadium, considered as one of the most important matches of the year for students from both schools.


Waseda University football team won the Emperor's Cup, in 1964 and 1967.

Rugby union

Waseda University Rugby Football Club currently is the reigning university rugby union champion in Japan, reaching the university championships 28 times, and winning fourteen times. Its two biggest rivals are Keio University and Meiji University.


The Waseda University karate club is one of the oldest in Japan, formed in 1931 under the direction of Gichin Funakoshi.[11][12] Graduates of the karate club include Shigeru Egami, leader of the Shotokai school, Kazumi Tabata, founder of the North American Karate-do Federation and Tsutomu Ohshima, founder of Shotokan Karate of America.

Notable alumni

Prime ministers



Business leaders




Performing arts



Figure skating


Martial arts




Notable current students


Performing arts

Notable faculty

Professors who are also Waseda alumni are listed in italics.

  • Yaichi Aizu, poet, scholar of ancient Chinese and Japanese art, and namesake of Aizu Museum
  • Tameyuki Amano, economics scholar and educator
  • Yasunobu Fujiwara, scholar of political science
  • Lafcadio Hearn, novelist, literary scholar, professor of English literature
  • Smimasa Idditti (Sumimasa Idichi ), professor of English
  • Kenji Imai, architect
  • Tokio Kimura, historian
  • Kunitake Kume, historian
  • Tachu Naito, architect
  • Naoyoshi Nakamura, historian
  • Haruo Nishihara, law professor, former President
  • Takayasu Okushima, law professor, former President
  • Hajime Ōnishi, philosopher
  • Ikuo Ōyama, scholar of political science
  • Yaso Saijo, poet
  • Masasada Shiozawa, scholar of economics, former President
  • Sanae Takata, scholar of political science, former President
  • Ōdō Tanaka, philosopher
  • Shoyo Tsubouchi, playwright, critic, translator, educator, professor of English literature, and namesake of Tsubouchi Memorial Theater Museum
  • Sokichi Tsuda, historian, recipient of the Order of Culture
  • Kazutami Ukita, scholar of political science
  • Shujiro Urata, economist
  • Yoshio Yamanouchi, translator, scholar of French literature
  • Akira Yonekura, law professor
  • Takamasa Yoshizaka, architect

Principals, de facto presidents (1907–1923), and presidents


De facto presidents (1907–1923)

  • Sanae Takata, 1907–1915
  • Tameyuki Amano, 1915–1917
  • Yoshiro Hiranuma, 1918–1921
  • Masasada Shiozawa, 1921–1923


  • Shigenobu Ōkuma,[14] 1907–1922
  • Masasada Shiozawa, 1923
  • Sanae Takata, 1923–1931
  • Hozumi Tanaka (public finance scholar, Doctor of Laws, 1876—1944), 1931–1944
  • Tomio Nakano, 1944–1946
  • Koichi Shimada, 1946–1954
  • Nobumoto Ōhama, 1954–1966
  • Kenichi Abe, 1966–1968
  • Tsunesaburo Tokikoyama, 1968–1970
  • Sukenaga Murai, 1970–1978
  • Tsukasa Shimizu, 1978–1982
  • Haruo Nishihara, 1982–1990
  • Chūmaru Koyama, 1990–1994
  • Takayasu Okushima, 1994–2002
  • Katsuhiko Shirai, 2002–2010
  • Kaoru Kamata, 2010–Present

Academic rankings

University rankings (overall)
Toyo Keizai National[15] General 6
Kawaijuku National[16] General 13
WE National[17] Employment 11
NBP Greater Tokyo[18][19] Reputation 1
Shimano National[20] Selectivity SA
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[21]
General 42
ARWU Asia[22] Research 44–68
QS World[23] General 220
ARWU World[24] Research 301–400
ENSMP World[25] Alumni 8
University rankings (by subject)
Social Sciences & Humanities


Asahi National[26] Research 3
BE Success National[27] Qualification 5
BE Pass rate National[28] Qualification 12


Eduni MBA National[29] General 2
Eduni MBA World[30] General 93
CPA Success National[31] Qualification 2
Natural Sciences & Technology


QS World[32] General 116


ARE Success National[33] Qualification 3

Waseda University is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, consistently ranking amongst the top universities in Japanese university rankings.

General rankings

The university has been ranked 5th in 2008–2009 and 6th in 2010–2011 in Toyo Keizai's Truly Strong Universities (本当に強い大学) ranking.[34] In another ranking, Japanese prep school Kawaijuku ranked Waseda as the 13th best university in Japan.[16]

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011–2012, Waseda ranked 351–400 worldwide among universities.

In addition, as of September 2012, according to the QS World university rankings of the general standards in the engineering and technology field, Waseda University was ranked 116th in the world, 7th nationally, and 198th in the general ranking.[35] Waseda Business School and Waseda Graduate School of Economics obtained the highest rank – five PALMS – in a Universal Business Ranking in 2013.[36]

In 2014, The Center for World University Rankings ranked Waseda University 40th (world).[37] Waseda University was also ranked 20th in the world in the Times Higher Education Alma Mater Index: Global Executives 2013 top 100.[38]

Research performance

Generally speaking, national universities in Japan have better research standards; however, Waseda is one of the few private universities which compete with top national universities. According to Weekly Diamond, Waseda has the 12th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research fundings per researchers in COE Program, and it is one of only two private universities within the top 15.[39]

On February 16, 2004, Nikkei Shimbun ran a survey about research standards in engineering studies based on Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers. Waseda ranked 5th overall, 7th in research planning, and 1st in business-academia collaboration.[40] Waseda was the only private university ranked in the top 5.

Asahi Shimbun summarized the amount of academic papers in Japanese major legal journals by university, and Waseda was ranked 3rd during 2005–2009.[26]

Graduate school rankings

According to the Asia Top MBA Business Schools Ranking by Asiaweek, Waseda Business School is ranked 2nd in Japan.[41] Eduniversal also ranked Japanese business schools and Waseda is 2nd in Japan (93rd in the world).[42] In this ranking, Waseda is one of only 3 Japanese business schools categorized in "Universal Business schools with major international influence".

Waseda Law School is considered as one of the top Japanese law schools, as Waseda's successful candidates for bar examination was 5th in 2009 and 2010 in Japan.[43]

Alumni rankings

According to the Weekly Diamond on February 18, 2006, Waseda got the highest score from the directors of human resource departments in Greater Tokyo in its Useful University Rankings (役に立つ大学ランキング).[44] Waseda was ranked 1st in Social Science and 2nd in Natural Science and Engineering among all Japanese universities.[45] According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings and the PRESIDENT's article on October 16, 2006, graduates from Waseda have the 11th best employment rate in 400 major companies, and the alumni average salary is the 7th best in Japan.[46][47]

Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities ranked Waseda University as 4th in the world in 2010 (8th in 2011) in terms of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.[48][25] The university is also ranked 2nd in Japan for the number of alumni holding the position of executive in the listed companies of Japan.[49]

The number of lawyers who graduated Waseda has been ranked 3rd in Japan since 1949.[50] Furthermore, Waseda alumni have been the 2nd largest group in the Japanese Parliament.[51][52]

Popularity and selectivity

Waseda is a popular university in Japan. The number of applicants per place was 20.5 (115515/5630) in the 2011 undergraduate admissions.[53] This number of applicants was 2nd largest in Japan.[54] its entrance difficulty is usually considered as top with Keio among 730 private universities.[55][56][57]

Nikkei BP has been publishing a ranking system called "Brand rankings of Japanese universities" every year, composed by the various indications related to the power of brand, and Waseda was top in 2010 and 3rd in 2009 in Greater Tokyo Area.[18]


  • Ryuhoku Narushima, poet, journalist, and one of the first trustees of Waseda
  • Azusa Ono (1852–1886), law scholar and one of the first trustees of Waseda


Waseda University has had numerous benefactors, including:

  • Eiichi Shibusawa,[58] businessman and philanthropist
  • Ichizaemon Morimura,[59] businessman
  • Koichiro Kagami,[60] businessman
  • Kenkichi Kodera,[61] presenter of over thirty-six thousand foreign books to the Library
  • Kisaku Maekawa,[62] businessman and philanthropist
  • Masaru Ibuka, after whom Masaru Ibuka Auditorium (Hall)[63] is named.
  • Robert J. Shillman, founder & CEO of Cognex Corporation, namesake of Robert Shillman Hall


  • Official website (Japanese)
  • Official website (English)

External links

  • ULTIMATE CRUSH: Waseda University Rugby, Leadership and Building the Strongest Winning Team in Japan by Katsuyuki Kiyomiya, translated into English by Ian Ruxton (September 2006, ISBN 978-1-4303-0321-3). The original was published in February 2006 entitled Kyukyoku no Shori: Ultimate Crush (ISBN 4-06-213271-0).

Further reading

  • Kimura, Tokio. Waga Waseda: Ōkuma Shigenobu to sono kengaku seishin, Tokyo, Kobunsha, 1997. (Japanese)
  • Okushima, Takayasu.; and Nakamura, Naoyoshi., eds. Tōmonno gunzo, Tokyo, Waseda University Press, 1992. (Japanese)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Kimura, pp. 74, 123
  5. ^ Kimura, pp. 74, 122
  6. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.42
  7. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.25
  8. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.37
  9. ^ 1964 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. Part 1. pp. 127–8.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Funakoshi, Gichin (1973). "Karate-do Kyohan", Kodansha International Ltd, Tokyo. ISBN 0-87011-190-6.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ as an honorary post
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^ a b Asahi Shimbun University rankings 2010
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^

  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ "週刊ダイヤモンド" ダイヤモンド社 2010/2/27
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ "役に立つ大学ランキング" 週間ダイヤモンド 2006/2/18
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ PRESIDENT 2006/10/16
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^ [6] Archived May 25, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  51. ^
  52. ^ "University rankings 2011" Asahi Shinbun
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^ National and Public universities apply different kind of exams. so it's only comparable between universities in a same category.
  56. ^ e.g. Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings
  57. ^ Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks its entrance difficulty as SA (most selective/out of 11 scales) in Japan.
  58. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.53
  59. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.51
  60. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.63
  61. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.65
  62. ^ Okushima and Nakamura (eds.), p.68
  63. ^ Masaru Ibuka Auditorium (Hall) is in the International Conference Center.
  64. ^


See also


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