Encyclopedia of Japanese universities

【S】The University of Tokyo: Japan’s best university

Do you know the best university in Japan? Japan University? No, it isn’t. The University of Tokyo is the best university in Japan. However, there are not many websites that explain exactly what this university is about and what benefits it has to offer. Today I’m going to talk to you about the benefits of attending the University of Tokyo.

The best university in Japan

The excellence of this university has been recognized by the World University Ranking. According to this ranking, the University of Tokyo is in the 36th position. The University of Tokyo is one of the best universities in the world. But this is not enough to understand true authority as the Japanese do. That’s why I’ve prepared some numbers.


Number of Prime Ministers: 11

Japan has had 62 prime ministers, 11 of whom have graduated from the University of Tokyo, and the second is Waseda University, which has trained seven of them. Originally, the University of Tokyo was established as a training school for senior bureaucrats to conduct modern Japanese politics. This is one of the reasons why it has such a strong influence on the Japanese political scene.

Number of people who have passed the high-level bureaucratic exams in 2019:307

官僚の出身大学・学歴・学部で多いものは? | 官僚の仕事・なり方・給料・資格を紹介 | キャリアガーデン(Career Garden)

To become a high-ranking bureaucrat who dominates Japanese politics, you have to pass a very difficult test. 307 students at the University of Tokyo passed the exam in 2019. Kyoto University had 126 students, less than half of the students at Tokyo University.

Average annual income:$81,000

There is a strong hierarchy of universities in Japan, and the University of Tokyo is at the top of that hierarchy. As a result, graduates of the University of Tokyo often have good jobs that pay well, for example, they earn about twice as much as at the University of Japan, a normal university.

Looking at these figures, it can be said that the University of Tokyo is one of Japan’s elite universities. Many Japanese people really think, “If I can get into the University of Tokyo, my life will change. In fact, the protagonist of the popular manga series “Dragon Sakura” was able to achieve the dream of attending the University of Tokyo.

Dragon Sakura

『ドラゴン桜』のキャストが主演級すぎた。主な豪華出演俳優一覧【2のドラマ化はあるのか?】 | ciatr[シアター]

Dragon Sakura is a manga that caused a great boom in Japan, in which the protagonists are the misguided young people who intend to enter the University of Tokyo by studying with a famous professor. One of the main characters is the daughter of a poor restaurateur, but when she hears a phrase, “Entering the University of Tokyo will change your life,” she decides to entry in the university for good. As this manga symbolizes, the University of Tokyo is the hope of the Japanese people.

But how many students come from poor families in the real Japan?

『東京大学学生生活実態調査』(2014年度)、厚生労働省『国民生活基礎調査』(2014年)より山田浩司氏作成。 出典:舞田敏彦「『東大生の親』は我が子だけに富を“密輸”する」(プレジデント・オンライン)

Let’s take a look at this chart. On the right is the percentage of annual income of a Japanese family between 40 and 50 years old. But on the left is the percentage of annual income of a University of Tokyo student’s family. The graph shows that more than half of the families of University of Tokyo students earn more than $95,000 a year.

Upper-class Japanese can provide their children with the highest quality education. So their children can go to the best schools. This is the same as in the U.S. and other capitalist countries. “Dragon Sakura” is still only a dream.

The value of the University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo will give you a chance. That’s a fact. For example, Nintendo hires students from the University of Tokyo as management candidates, and you can earn enough money to fill a bathtub at an American investment bank. But you understand, as I’m sure you do, that you have to sacrifice a lot of time to get into this university as a foreigner. Even if you want to study abroad, the University of Tokyo only recruits students from the best foreign universities like Yale. Therefore, it is not easy to challenge them.

She is Alyona, a Russian YouTuber who studied at the University of Tokyo. Her Japanese is at a native speaker level and she is now also a model. You have to make an effort to learn to speak Japanese like her.

In conclusion, if you can go to the University of Tokyo, you should definitely go. However, it is very difficult to get into the University of Tokyo. Considering the difficulty of the Japanese language, it is necessary to start learning Japanese from 15-18 years old, and if you are 26 years old, it is not impossible to enter this university. But because it’s difficult, this university has a dream for me. The University of Tokyo has been and will always be the best.

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