Tokyo University of the Arts, commonly referred to as Geidai, is one of the most prestigious art schools in Japan and in the world. Read on to find out more about Geidai, and how it compares against other Art schools in International University Rankings.

Tokyo University of the Arts: History 

Tokyo University of the Arts was formed in 1949 by the merger of the Tokyo Fine Arts School and the Tokyo Music School – both schools with a history dating back to 1887. Although the university was incepted only for men, it started to accept female students after the end of WW2 in 1946. The graduate school of Geidai opened in 1963 and began offering doctoral degrees in 1977. Tokyo University of the Art was enlisted as a National University in 2004 to become the only National Arts University in Japan.

Tokyo University of the Arts: Faculties and Departments

Tracing its roots to the original Tokyo Fine Arts School and the Tokyo Music School, Tokyo University of the Arts houses two faculties: The Faculty of Fine Arts and The Faculty of Music. Each faculty has 7 departments: 

Faculty of Fine Arts

  • Department of Painting
  • Department of Sculpture
  • Department of Craft
  • Department of Design
  • Department of Architecture
  • Department of Aesthetics and Art History
  • Department of Inter-media Arts

Faculty of Music

  • Department of Composition
  • Department of Conducting
  • Department of Vocal Music
  • Department of Instrumental Music 
  • Department of Traditional Japanese Music
  • Department of Musicology
  • Department of Musical Creativity and the Environment

Tokyo University of the Arts: Location 

The Tokyo University of the Arts is conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo. The main campus was built right next to Ueno Park, one of Tokyo’s oldest public sites —and a great Cherry Blossom viewing spot in late March/early April! Ueno is within walking distance to other urban centers such as Akihabara and Asakusa. It is a 30-minute train ride to the hustle and bustle of Shibuya or Shinjuku.

Tokyo University of the Arts has other campuses located in Toride, Yokohama, and Adachi. 

  • Toride campus is located in Ibaraki prefecture, about a 40-minute train ride to the north of Tokyo.
  • In Yokohama, there are three campuses: Bashamichi Campus, Bankokubashi Campus, and Motomachi-Chikagai Campus. Basahimichi Campus and Bankokubashi Campus are a 7-minute walk from one another, whereas the Motomachi Chukagai campus is located slightly further away —30-minute on foot or two subway stops on the Yokohama Minatomirai line. 
  • The campus located in Adachi is called the Senju Campus. It is located 15 away the north of Tokyo by train.

Lastly, Geidai also has two halls of residence. The first residence is located in Adachi, close to Senju Campus, which houses both domestic and international students. The second residence is solely for international students and is located in Matsudono, Chiba. It is a 30-minute train ride from Ueno campus.

Tokyo University of the Arts: Facts and Figures 

As of 2019, there are 2,003 students enrolled in the Undergraduate program and 1,251 students enrolled in the Graduate School. Of these students, 276 (about 9%) are international students, represent 36 different ethnicities on campus. 

The Faculty of Music has the largest student body with 1,022 enrolled students. The Graduate School of Fine Arts has the greatest number of enrolled Masters and Doctorates students with 534 and 167 respectively. 

Tokyo University of the Arts: Notable Alumni 

Being one of the most prestigious art schools in Japan and in the world, there are a number of notable alumni walking out of Tokyo University of the Arts.

  • Takahashi Murakami – Contemporary artist 
  • Yokoyama Taikan – Japanese painter
  • Sakamoto Ryuichi – Composer 
  • Teshigahara Hiroshi – Film director
  • Fuyuko Matsui – Nihonga painter and winner of the 2007 Nomura Art Prize
  • Carl Randall – Painter and winner of the 2012 Nomura Art Prize
  • Musashi Hamauzu – Composer 
  • Taki Rentaro – Traditional Japanese composer

Tokyo University of the Arts: International Rankings (2020)  

So, we have heard about all of Geidai’s prestige and famous alumni. How well does it stack up in International University Rankings?  

Based on the Edu International University Rankings, the Toyko University of Arts ranked 99th in Japan and 2114th in the World in 2019. 

As the Tokyo University of the Arts is a university focused on the Arts and Music, it, unfortunately, does not fear so well in International University Rankings.  

In the Times World University Rankings, Tokyo University of the Arts placed 151th in Japan and in the 3000-4000 range worldwide. 

Furthermore, Geidai is not listed in the QS Top University Rankings due to its small size. This is unfortunate as the QS Top University Rankings run a Subject-based Arts/Design ranking which the Tokyo University of Arts is expected to have ranked very highly in.

Nevertheless, when googling for the Top Art Schools in the World, Tokyo University of the Arts comes up on numerous search results and private blogs. Prep Scholar mentioned Geidai in their “12 Best Art Schools in the World” article, which only listed two Asian Art schools. Furthermore, Broadway World cited Tokyo University of the Arts in its “Top 5 Performing Art Universities in Japan”. Therefore, for those well informed within the arts and music industry, Tokyo University of the Arts possesses a prestige that is still second to none.

Conclusion: 

The Tokyo University of the Arts is a very selective and small arts university. As the only National Arts University in Japan, it has produced a high number of notable artists and musicians and is considered as one of the most prestigious Art schools in the world. Nevertheless, due to its small size and emphasis placed on the Arts and Music, Geidai does not rank too high in your typical Times or QS World University Rankings. For those looking for a unique opportunity to hone your artistic or musical talents, however, Tokyo University of the Arts is unrivaled for its past success and academic prestige. It may be the perfect place for you. 

Reference

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