Discover Our History


The following tabulated timeline provides a detailed account of the history of our university. 


Please also take a look at an interactive version of our timeline here. This interactive timeline offers detailed information about our past set against a backdrop of historical events which helped shape contemporary Japan.


Sapporo Agricultural College (1876–1907)

1876 Dr. William S. Clark, then president of Massachusetts Agricultural College in the Unites States is invited to be Vice Principal of Sapporo Agricultural College. He arrives in Sapporo with 2 American professors and 11 students.
1876 The Book Stack Room, which would later become the University Library, opens.
1877 The Model Barn, one of the first buildings of the university and still existing today, is completed.
1878 The martial arts training facility (currently the Sapporo Clock Tower) is constructed.
1886 The Botanic Garden is designed and built.



Tohoku Imperial University (1907–1918)

1907 Sapporo Agricultural College becomes Agricultural College of Tohoku Imperial University.
1909 The historical Furukawa Hall is completed in a French Renaissance style.
1912 The grand trees of the university’s Poplar Avenue are planted as a windbreak.



Hokkaido Imperial University (1918–1947)

1918

The university  joins a league of seven imperial universities formed by the Japanese government.

1919 The School of Medicine is established.
1924 The School of Engineering is established.
1930 The School of Science is established.
1936 Dr. Ukichiro Nakaya successfully produces the world’s first “artificial snow crystal.”
1941 The Institute of Low Temperature Science is established.
1943 The Institute of Catalysis Research is established.
1945 The Administrative Office and the Student Affairs Office are established.
1947 The School of Law and Letters is established.


Hokkaido University (1947–2004)

1947 Hokkaido Imperial University is renamed as Hokkaido University.
1949

Under the National School Establishment Law, Hokkaido University is reorganized with the Schools of Law and Letters, Education, Science, Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture, and Fisheries Sciences (Hakodate).


The “Medical Clinic Attached to the School of Medicine” is renamed as the “Hospital Attached to the School of Medicine.”


The Department of Liberal Studies is established (later renamed as the School of Liberal Studies in April 1951).

1950

The Institute of Tuberculosis Research, now known as the Institute for Genetic Medicine, is established.


The School of Law and Letters is divided into the School of Letters and the School of Law and Economics.

1952 The School of Veterinary Medicine is established.
1953

The following new graduate schools are established: Letters, Education, Law, Economics and Business Administration, Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, and Fisheries Sciences.


The School of Law and Economics is divided into the School of Law and the School of Economics and Business Administration.

1955 The Institute of Medical Research is established.
1957 The School of Liberal Studies is renamed as the School of Liberal Arts.
1958 The Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences is established.
1965 The School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy is established.
1967 The Dental School of Medicine is established.
1970 The Computer Center (joint-usage facility), now known as the Information Initiative Center, is established.
1972 The Health Management Center (Health Care Center) is established as well as the Physical Education Center.
1974 The Graduate School of Dental Medicine is established.
1977 The Graduate School of Environmental Science (stand-alone graduate school) is established.
1978 The Slavic Research Center and the Central Institute of Isotope Science are established.
1981 The Institute of Language and Cultural Studies, and the Center for Experimental Plants and Animals are established.
1985 The Research Center for Molecular Genetics is established.
1989 The Institute of Catalysis Research evolves into the Catalysis Research Center (joint-usage research facility).
1990 The Slavic Research Center is designated as a joint-usage research facility.
1991 The International Student Center and the Research Center for Quantum Integrated Electronics are established.
1992 The Institute of Applied Electronics Research is reorganized into the Research Institute for Electronic Science.
1993 The Graduate School of Environmental Science evolves into the Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science.
1994 The Center for Advanced Research of Energy is established.
1995 The Center for Research and Development in Higher Education, and the Environmental Preservation Center are established.
1996 The Center for Advanced Science and Technology and the Venture Business Laboratory are established.
1999

The Graduate School of Agriculture evolves into a Graduate Research School


The Information Processing Center evolves into the Education and Research Center for Information and Media Studies.


The Hokkaido University Museum is established.

2000 The Graduate School of International Media and Communication Studies is established as a stand-alone graduate school.
2002

The Creative Research Initiative “Sousei”, the predecessor of the Creative Research Institution, is established.


The new training ship, Ushio-maru, becomes operational.

2003

The Research and Education Center for Brain Science and the Management Center of Intellectual Property are established.


National University Corporation Hokkaido University (2004 to present)

2004

The Graduate School of Information Science and Technology is established as a stand-alone graduate school.


The Center for Advanced Research of Energy evolves into the Center for Advanced Research of Energy Conversion Materials.

2005

The Graduate School of Public Policy, the Faculty of Public Policy, the Research Center for Zoonosis Control, the Admission Center, and the Hokkaido University Archives are established.

2006 The Center for Advanced Tourism Studies is established.
2007

The Center for Language Learning, the Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies, and the Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences are established.


Sustainability Weeks event is held for the first time.

2008

The Faculty of Health Sciences, the Graduate School of Health Sciences (for master’s courses) , the Research Institute for Information Law and Policy, the Research Center for Environmental Nano and Bio Engineering, the Research Center for Integrative Mathematics, and the Center for Sustainability Science are established.

2009

Hokkaido University is a joint host of the G8 University Summit and establishes the “Sapporo Sustainability Declaration.”


The Center of Education and Research for Topological Science and Technology is established.


The North Branch of the Hokkaido University Library is renamed the North Library.

2010

The Graduate School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, the Graduate School of Health Sciences, the Center for Environmental and Health Sciences, and the Office for a Sustainable Campus are established.


The Office of International Affairs is established as an administrative unit, into which the International Student Center is transferred.


Professor Emeritus Akira Suzuki wins the Nobel Prize.

2011

The Center for Translational Research, and the Platform for Research on Biofunctional Molecules are established.


The Venture Business Laboratory is renamed the Meme Media Laboratory.

2012

Homecoming Day is held for the very first time.


The Cooperative Veterinary Education Program is established by the Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine and the Faculty of Animal Husbandry, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.


The Graduate School of  Life Science establishes a Clinical Pharmacy doctoral program.

2013

Keizo Yamaguchi named president.

2014

The Office for Enhancing Institutional Capacity, the Center for Food and Medical Innovation, and the Global Institution for Collaborative Research and Education (GI-CoRE) are established.


The Slavic Research Center is renamed as the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center.


The Research Center for Environmental Nano and Bio Engineering is renamed as the Center for Post-modern Socio-metabolic System.


The Center for Translational Research is abolished.

2015

Meme Media Laboratory, the  Research Institute for Information Law and Policy, the Center for Post-modern Socio-metabolic Systems, the Research Center for Integrative Mathematics, and the Center of Education and Research for Topological Science and Technology are abolished.


The Arctic Research Center, the Archaeological Research Center, and the Institute for the Promotion of Business-Regional Collaboration (comprising the Center for Innovation and Business Promotion, and the Center for Food and Medical Innovation) are established.


The Catalysis Research Center is reorganized into the Institute for Catalysis.


Updated on   April 25, 2017

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