Top 10 Universities with the Best Arts Program in Japan

Japan is a very well-known worldwide country for the arts and advanced technology. When you are coming to Japan, the sophisticated Japanese art and culture will surround you with its classical uniqueness. Pursuing study on the Japanese art and culture in these advanced nations is one of the most valuable chances once in your whole life. Japanese arts comprises over a large area of traditional and modern arts and media, including calligraphy on silk and papers, pottery, sculpture, painting, origami, recently the famous manga and lovely anime as well and many more amazing objects to study. Not simply digging knowledge of the Japanese arts, as the foreigners, you could experience how great Japanese merge the essence of arts with advanced technology to cultivate abundant masterpieces framed in the whole around their beautiful country. Although it is very challenging to define the university rank of these art schools, the following list would help you explore and discover the best art schools in Japan. Here you go!

Tokyo University of the Arts

Source: The Tokyo University of the Arts, website: https://global.geidai.ac.jp/?lang=e

The Tokyo University of the Arts was established in May 1949 through a merger of Tokyo Fine Arts School and Tokyo Music School. At the time of the establishment, the university comprised ten departments that now have developed, where currently comprised by the 14 departments in two faculties; the Faculty of Fine Arts. This number one school of arts in Japan also has high-class facilities such as the University Library, the University Art Museum, and the Performing Arts Center.

The Tokyo University of the Arts further has graduate school programs as well. Graduate School of this university comprises four schools; Graduate School of Fine Arts, the Graduate School of Music, the Graduate School of Film and New Media, and the Graduate School of Global Arts. The university also contains the Music High School and an education and research facility attached to the Faculty of music.

This high-class university has 4 campuses; Ueno Park in Taito-ku, Toride City in Ibaraki Prefecture, Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Senju in Adachi-ku, with most departments and facilities concentrated within the Ueno Park. Please discover more on how to access these university campuses through the following link (https://www.geidai.ac.jp/english/access).

For the internationals who are interested in becoming prospective students in this university, you would be very well guided since they have obvious information shown on the university (website: https://www.geidai.ac.jp/english/). The alumni of this university have become high-class artists of a very wide range of art styles and media. The university also provides scholarships for high talented prospective students. The Tokyo University of the Arts is the number one national university of arts in Japan.

Musashino Art University

Source: Musashino Art University, website: https://mauml.musabi.ac.jp/en/

Musashino Art University or well known as MAU is one of the leading art schools in Japan, in western Tokyo, Kodaira. This University just marked the 90th anniversary of its foundation in 2019. Musashino Art University was founded as a private art school and officially designated as a university in 1962. Currently, MAU is becoming one of the high-level art institutes in Japan, with over 4,500 students and 2,000 correspondence students.

Musashino Arts University comprises the College of Art and Design (which encompasses ten departments) and the College of Creative Thinking for Social Innovation (which encompasses two departments) for the undergraduate program, the Graduate School of Art and Design (MA, PhD), the Graduate School of Creative Thinking for Social Innovation (MA), and the Correspondence Course for undergraduate as well.

However, when you are interested in becoming a prospective student in this university, according to the university website (https://www.musabi.ac.jp/english/admission/) following the most of studying activities are carried out solely in Japanese, then you have to be fluent in Writing, Reading, and Speaking Japanese.

Tama Art University

Source: Tama Art University, website: https://www.tamabi.ac.jp/english/about/hachioji.htm

Tama Art University was established originally as the Tama Imperial Art School founded in Kaminoge, Tokyo. Tama Art University is a private university comprises two main campuses – Kaminoge and Hachioji, which are both in Tokyo city. The Faculty of Art and Design offers: Japanese Painting; Oil Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramic Glass and Metal Works, Graphic Design, Product Design; Environmental Design; Information Design; Art Studies; Integrated Design; and Scenography Design, Drama, and Dance. Tama Art University is one of the few universities in Japan that offers a course on Scenography Design, Drama, and Dance.

For the one who is interested to dig deeply into research, Tama Art University is the best since becoming a center for education and research. Tama Art University plays an important role in the cultural and commercial life of Japan. By making the best use of its extensive resources, this university aims to contribute to developments in such fields as art, culture, and information technology. According to the Tama Art University website, https://www.tamabi.ac.jp/. Tama Art University is also very active in extramural activities that would strengthen the community links. Their area of operations includes not only the capital city of Tokyo and other areas of Japan but locations in foreign countries which together form a steadily expanding international network. In art education, the Lifelong Learning Center offers a comprehensive program of lectures and workshops related to art and design for people of all ages, from children to retirees. To contribute to the global trend of internationalization, Tama Art University is actively pursuing international exchange activities in the fields of art and culture, both in Asia and Western countries.

Please refer to the following website to visit this university, https://www.tamabi.ac.jp/english/access/.

Tohoku University of Art and Design

Source: Tohoku University of Art and Design, website: https://www.tuad.ac.jp/english/

Tohoku University of Art and Design was established in April 1992 by Yamagata Prefecture and Yamagata City, Tohoku University of Art and Design is well known as the first venture of its kind in Japan where a university built with funds by the government has been turned over to be operated as an entirely private university.

Tohoku University of Art and Design holds the following glorious principles: to confer knowledge far and wide as a center for academic culture; to fully educate and conduct research in the area of art and design; to nurture people who, while developing their intellectual, ethical and applied potential, find joy in the process of creation, as realized through the unification of art and learning; and to contribute to the improvement of academic culture and the vitalization of industry.

The University is located in Yamagata, in the central part of the Tohoku Region. Yamagata is an area that has a rich history, starting with the roots of the original Japanese culture of the ancient Jomon Era over ten thousand years ago.

However, when you are interested in becoming a prospective student of this university, it is declared on their website https://www.tuad.ac.jp/english/adm/ that you must be able to speak and read Japanese.

Please refer to the following website, https://www.tuad.ac.jp/english/contact/ to access this university.

Kyoto City University of the Arts

Source: Kyoto City University of the Arts, website: https://www.kcua.ac.jp/en/

Kyoto City University of the Arts was founded in 1880 as the Kyoto Prefectural School of Painting. This university was originally known as the first public painting specialist school in Japan, Kyoto City University of Arts is the oldest art university in Japan. It is stated that with the rich history of over 130 years, along with the rich beauty of the cultural capital Kyoto as its background, this Kyoto City University of the Arts and Music School has contributed to the Japanese and international art and industrial worlds by producing great numbers of highly talented individuals.

According to the university website, https://www.kcua.ac.jp/?page_id=118032 it is declared that in order to realize the further development of Kyoto as a symbol of the cultural arts and to enhance education and research, the management of the school was transferred to the Public University Corporation, allowing for more autonomous control of general managerial decisions.

In this way, the university has established itself as comprehensive and advanced art research and educational institution that is committed to the further development of free and creative spirit and takes responsibility for forming the future generations of civilized international society, discoveries and contributions to research, education and the diverse values of art.

When you are interested in becoming a prospective student of this university, please look at their specific criteria via the following link: https://www.kcua.ac.jp/en/about-kcua/admissions-policy/. Pursuing higher education in this school would be precious for you since you could live in Kyoto, the center of culture in Japan. Please refer to the following link to know how to access this university campus https://www.kcua.ac.jp/?page_id=23871 if you have the time they also have the International Office that provides much information regarding their academic activity.

Kyoto Seika University

Source: Kyoto Seika University, website: https://www.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/eng/edu/

Kyoto Seika University or well-known called as the SEIKA was founded on the principles laid out in the Foundational Principles of Education proposed by its first President, Seiichi Okamoto. Staff and teachers who agreed wholeheartedly with Okamoto’s Memorandum on Foundational Education Principles committed their support and in 1968 Kyoto Seika University, then Kyoto Seika College was opened as well.

In 2021, Kyoto Seika University has just opened their new faculty; Faculty of Global Culture, Faculty of Media Creation, and Human Environment Design Program as their move to contribute to society and answer the world’s challenge nowadays.

When you are interested in becoming a prospective student of this university, please refer to the following website to dig for more information regarding the admission rules and policy of entering this university https://www.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/eng/admission/ This university also has much great international exchange programs collaborated with all around the world high-class university. To know more about how to access the university, please click the following link https://www.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/eng/access/ and freely enjoy the downtown area of Kyoto with the beauty of the center of culture of this country.

Osaka College of Art in Association with Osaka University of Arts

Source: Osaka College of Art in Association with Osaka University of Arts, website: https://www.bisen.ac.jp/english/

The Osaka College of Art in Association with Osaka University of Arts is famed as one of the highly recommended schools by the Osaka Bureau of Administrative Services.

According to their motto, The principle is the power to create Art – The source of the power comes from the spirit of freedom. Not limited by the established idea, refine your inspiration to challenge new beauty and create something new. This is the very spirit of freedom that Osaka College of Art values the most. The College supports this spirit of freedom in various aspects, such as diverse learning opportunities, with over 12 areas to major in the Department of General Design and General Art. This college also highly welcomes students from abroad.

When you are interested in becoming a prospective student in this college, please point out that you need to have at least 6 months of Japanese Language study at the institutions designated by the Minister of Justice in a public notice, and have a high attendance rate or having JLPT N2 or higher. Please identify more details of the admission rules and policy of this college throughout the link https://www.bisen.ac.jp/english/ and explore more about this campus via that link as well.

Osaka University of the Arts

Source: Osaka University of Arts, website: https://www.osaka-geidai.ac.jp/en/guide

Osaka University of Arts is of private art university in Kanan, Minamikawachi District, Osaka Prefecture. The university was founded in 1945 as Hirano English Cram School then changed its name to Osaka School of the Fine Arts in 1957, and then to Naniwa University of the Arts in 1964. The university adopted the current name in 1966.

This university has a lot of notable alumni in a very wide range of expertise such as illustrator, animation and film director, manga author and illustrator, actor, voice actor, manga artist, and many more. When you are interested in becoming a prospective student of this university, please dig more information through the following link, https://www.osaka-geidai.ac.jp/en. Good Luck!

Aichi Art University, Okinawa Art University

Source: Aichi Art University, Okinawa Art University, website: https://www.aichi-fam-u.ac.jp/english/

Aichi University of the Arts and Music was founded on April 1, 1966. Formerly, the Painting, Sculpture, and Design programs are established in the Department of Fine Arts at the Faculty of Arts. Then, the Composition, Voice, and Instrumental Music (Piano, Strings) programs are established in the Department of Music at the Faculty of Music.

According to the university history, the university’s graduate school for a master’s degree was established four years later, on April 1, 1970, to contribute to the enrichment of culture and society through advanced in-depth research for art theory and application. On April 1, 2009, the graduate school offered a doctoral program. The mission of the university since its founding is “to cultivate creativity, based on studies of art and applied art, that could contribute to the development of culture.”

When you are interested in becoming the prospective student in this university, please refer to the following link to explore more details concerning the admission rules and policy, https://www.aichi-fam-u.ac.jp/english/admission/.

Okinawa Art University

Source: The Okinawa Art University, website: http://www.okigei.ac.jp/english/faculty/arts-index.html

The Okinawa Art University was founded in 1986. The Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the medium city of Naha, Okinawa. The Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts is well-known as a coeducational Japanese higher education institution. The Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees, such as bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study. International students are welcome to apply for enrollment at the university. The Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students, including a library, study abroad, and exchange programs, as well as administrative services.

When you are interested in becoming a prospective student in Okinawa Art University, please refer to the following link to know details about the university, http://www.okigei.ac.jp/english/ they also provide contacts lists for any inquiries that may help you as a foreigner.

Summary

  • Japan has many of the best arts schools for foreigners.
  • Japan has several arts schools that teach in English for internationals.
  • Although, several schools teach in English, having sufficient ability in Japanese would be very helpful during living in Japan.

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ABOUTこの記事をかいた人

Hi, I’m Eka. I’m one of the awardees of the 2016 MEXT College to College Recommendation Scholarship. I completed the one-year JASSO-Tokyo Japanese course (2016-2017) and won second place in the Japanese speech competition held internally at JASSO at that time. After that, I continued my education at NIT. Akashi College and earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree after 2 years of study. I love teaching children English and Japanese, writing blogs, designing graphics, and creating digital content. I hope you enjoy the knowledge I share here based on the experience I gained in Japan for over 5 years. Thanks!