Message from the President
TAKANO Katsumi, Ph.D.
On July 5, 2013, I was appointed to follow my predecessor, Dr. Kanju Ohsawa, to become the 12th President since our first president, Dr. Tokiyoshi Yokoi.
Tokyo University of Agriculture’s history begins in 1891, when the private Department of Agriculture, Ikueiko School, was established on the banks of the Iida River in Kojimachi-ku (now Chiyoda-ku), Tokyo, under the auspices of the Tokugawa Ikuei-kai Foundation. The next year, the University moved to Otsukakubo-machi, Koishikawa-ku (now Bunkyo-ku); in 1898 it moved to Tokiwamatsu in Toyotama-gun, Shibuya-mura in Tokyo Prefecture (now Shibuya-ku); and in 1946 to Sakuragaoka, Setagaya-ku. At present, we have three campuses, in Setagaya, Atsugi, and Okhotsk, with two Graduate Schools and Faculties of Agriculture, Applied Biosciences, Regional Environmental Science, International Agriculture and Food Studies, and Bioindustry, as well as a Junior College. With around 13,000 students, 700 professors and instructors, and 200 laboratories, Tokyo University of Agriculture proudly ranks as Japan’s largest agricultural university, affectionately known as “Tokyo NODAI” within Japan and overseas.
Our founder, Viscount Takeaki Enomoto (1836–1908), was sent by the Tokugawa Shogunate to the Netherlands to study the latest European science and technology and international law, and was already a world citizen by the time of modern Japan’s emergence. He served as Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Communications, among other roles. He was also involved in negating the threat from powerful Russian Empire by negotiating the Treaty of St. Petersburg, and was thus one of the individuals who built the foundations of the Japan we see today. During his study in the Netherlands, he became keenly aware that one particular aspect of the nation’s strength—agriculture—was critical for Japan to maintain its position as a modern nation among the great powers, which led him to establish our University.
Tokiyoshi Yokoi, our first President, developed a saltwater rice seed screening method that enabled the cultivation of healthy seedlings and contributed to the modernization of Japanese agriculture. He was the leading expert researcher and teacher of his era in the field of agriculture and established both “Return Man to the Farm,” the educational principle of our University, and “Practical Science”, our approach to teaching and research. Furthermore, hoping that advances in agricultural research would contribute to the development of farming, he also left us with the epigram “Agriculture Flourishes, Farming Fails.” These words should be engraved in the hearts and minds of those involved in agricultural research and education.
Tokyo NODAI, created and built thanks to the passion of these two men, celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. Since our founding, the scope of agriculture has expanded to meet the changing needs of the times and society. We now have 21 departments, and since the University’s founding, we have produced more than 150,000 graduates, who have become regional leaders in agriculture- and food-related industries, public service, and teaching, as well as academics and researchers.
Tokyo NODAI is moving steadily forward, with coverage extending from life sciences and production science through to lifestyle sciences, and aims to continue to make a name for itself through its constant progress. Please look forward to all we have planned for the future.▲ Go to Top on this page