Nearer to Shanghai than Tokyo, and just a short hop from Korea, Kyushu University in Fukuoka is closer to the Asian mainland than any other major Japanese university. Throughout Japanese history, the island of Kyushu has been the country’s principal gateway to the wider world. Over one thousand years ago, it was from Fukuoka that official missions, including parties of students, left Japan to study in Korea and China. In the thirteenth century, it was here that vast Mongol navies twice attempted, and failed, to invade. And in the nineteenth century, Kyushu was the cradle of the ‘Meiji Restoration’ and Japan’s industrial revolution – which, in turn, inspired modernization efforts throughout Asia.
Today, Fukuoka routinely features in lists of the world’s ‘most liveable cities’. Blessed with a pleasant climate, far less crowded – and far cheaper – than Tokyo, and boasting a convenient airport with excellent connections to Asia and beyond, it has become the favourite Japanese destination for Chinese and other Asian students. While other Japanese cities have struggled in recent years, Fukuoka has grown strongly – capitalizing on its commercial ties with Asia. The importance attached by the city to its Asian links is demonstrated by its sponsorship of an annual ‘Asian Month’. Its location alone thus makes Kyushu University the natural choice for those wishing to study or research Asia in Japan.
The university has a wealth of expertise in inter-disciplinary Asian Studies. In history, sociology, politics, law, economics, education and other social science and humanities disciplines, Asian societies form the central focus of much of our research and teaching. Meanwhile, many scientists in our world-leading engineering, medical and agricultural faculties maintain strong links with colleagues across Asia. (See Teaching Highlights and Research Highlights.)