The university's symbol is inspired by
Mercury, Roman mythology's god of commerce.
Arinori Mori, a founder of Hitotsubashi
When founded by
Arinori Mori in 1875, Hitotsubashi was called the Institute for Business Training (商法講習所, Shōhō Kōshujo), where it nurtured businessmen to modernize Japan after the collapse of the feudal Tokugawa Shōgunate. The last Shogun
Tokugawa Yoshinobu, prior to the end of his reign, sent
Eiichi Shibusawa to Europe during the 1860s, where he learned of their advanced banking and economic system and brought it back to modernize Japan. The school expanded gradually with the support of Eiichi Shibusawa and
Takashi Masuda and other influential individuals. Shibusawa is regarded as the father of the modern Japanese economy. Eiichi Shibusawa and Tokugawa Yoshinobu's son,
Tokugawa Iesato worked together to established a number of large business enterprises, as well as academic institutions and other social service agencies which still active today, while Masuda was the founder of
Mitsui & Co Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu was the head of the Hitotsubashi family, and that may well be why in 1949, the school adopted the name of Hitotsubashi University.
There were talks about a merger with
The University of Tokyo, but alumni and students objected—the merger was not fulfilled. This is known as the "Shinyu Incident".
Arinori Mori established Institute for Business Training (商法講習所|Shōhō Kōshūjo) at Ginza-owarichō, Tokyo.
1884: became a national school under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce of Japan, and changed its name to the Tokyo Commercial School (東京商業学校|Tokyo Shōgyō Gakkō).
1885: came under the control of the
Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan, and absorbed the Tokyo Foreign Language School. The school then relocated to the site of the latter institution in an education district called Hitotsubashi, Tokyo in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace.
1887: the status of the Tokyo Commercial School was raised to that of the Higher Commercial School (高等商業学校|Kōtō Shōgyō Gakkō).
1897: established affiliated institutions for foreign-language education.
1944: changed its name to the Tokyo College of Industry (東京産業大学|Tōkyō Sangyō Daigaku) under the order of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of Japan.
1947: changed its name back to the Tokyo College of Commerce (東京商科大学|Tōkyō Syōka Daigaku).
1949: adopted the new system and the name of Hitotsubashi University (一橋大学|Hitotsubashi Daigaku) through a student ballot, when the American education system was introduced as part of the postwar education reforms, and established Faculties of Commerce, Economics, and Law & Social Sciences.
1951: separated Faculty of Law & Social Sciences into Faculty of Law and Faculty of Social Science.
1996: established the Graduate School of Language and Society.
1998: established the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy (ICS).
2004: established Law School due to the introduction of Law School system in Japan.
2005: established School of International and Public Policy.
Faculties and graduate schools
Kanematsu auditorium on the Kunitachi Campus
Hitotsubashi University has about 4,500 undergraduate and 2,100 postgraduate students with some 630 faculty members.
Social Sciences (235)
Commerce (Master Program: 108, Doctor Program: 30)
Economics (Master Program: 70, Doctor Program: 30)
Law (Master Program: 15, Doctor Program: 26
Juris Doctor Program: 100)
Social Sciences (Master Program: 87, Doctor Program: 44)
Language and Society (Master Program: 49, Doctor Program: 21)
Hitotsubashi University is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, consistently ranking amongst the top universities in Japanese university rankings. It is one of the highest ranked national universities that is not one of the
National Seven Universities.
Hitotsubashi is a specialized institution only in social science, thus it is not as well known as other big universities such as
University of Tokyo and
Kyoto University. Although it has only social science departments and the place in the university rankings is always underrated, the reputation is very high. Consequently, its outstanding position in Japan can be seen in the several rankings below.
The university was ranked 7th out of 181 major universities in 2011 in the ranking called "Truly strong universities (本当に強い大学)" by
Toyo Keizai. In this ranking, Hitotsubashi is 1st in average graduate salary.
QS World University Rankings, Hitotsubashi was ranked 314th, 314th, 420th, 378th and 365th in the world during 2005–2009. It has been ranked 114th, 101st, 99th and 178th during 2007–2010 in its social science ranking.
The Weekly Diamond reported that Hitotsubashi has the 4th highest research standard in Japan in research funding per researcher in
COE Program. In the same article, it is ranked seventh in quality of education by
GP funds per student.
The economics department especially has a high research standard. According to the Asahi Shimbun, Hitotsubashi was ranked 4th in Japan in economic research during 2005–2009. More recently,
Repec in January 2011 ranked Hitotsubashi's Economic Department as Japan's 5th best economic research university. Currently three researchers in Hitotsubashi are listed as top 10%
economists in its world economist rankings. Hitotsubashi has provided seven presidents of the
Japanese Economic Association in its 42-year history; this number is the second largest.
Asahi Shimbun summarized the number of academic papers in Japanese major legal journals by university, and Hitotsubashi was ranked 7th during 2005–2009.
Graduate school rankings
Hitotsubashi Law School is considered one of top law schools in Japan, as it was ranked No. 1 in the passing rate of Japanese
Bar Examination in 2006, 2008 and 2009. On average, Hitotsubashi Law School was 1st out of all the 74 law schools in Japan according to the ratio, 81.50%, of the successful graduates who passed the bar examinations from 2007 to 2017. In 2019, Hitotsubashi Law School became 2nd out of all the 72 law schools in Japan according to the ratio, 59.82%, of the successful graduates who passed the bar examination.
Hitotsubashi Business School is ranked 2nd in Japan by Nikkei Shimbun.Eduniversal ranked Japanese business schools and Hitotsubashi was ranked 3rd in Japan (100th in the world). In this ranking, Hitotsubashi is one of three Japanese business schools categorized in "Universal business schools with major international influence". It is one of the few Japanese business schools teaching in English.
Hitotsubashi alumni are distinctively successful in Japanese industries such as shown below.
According to the Weekly Economist 2010 rankings and the President's article on October 16, 2006, graduates from Hitotsubashi have the best employment rate in 400 major companies; the average graduate salary is the second best in Japan.Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities ranks Hitotsubashi University as 25th in the world in 2011 in the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies, although Hitotsubashi is small compared to other Japanese universities in the ranks.
The university is ranked 8th in Japan for the number of alumni holding executive positions in the listed companies of Japan, and this number per student (probability of becoming an executive) is 2nd in Japan.
Popularity and selectivity
Hitotsubashi is one of the most selective universities in Japan. Its entrance difficulty is usually considered one of the most difficult, alongside
University of Tokyo,
Kyoto University and
Tokyo Institute of Technology among 180 national and public universities. Japanese people call them as "tokyoikko(東京一工)" They are one of the most difficult universities for Japanese people to enter them. Universities in Japan are ranked based on a hensachi score. This tells how far from the statistical mean a typical student admitted to a university scores on a test. A score of 50 is at the mean. It is generally believed that the best universities have the highest hensachi score. These universities are ranked 1st to 4th place. So high school students have to get highest hensachi score to enter them.
2nd out of all the 744 universities which existed as of 2006
2006 Survey by
Weekly Diamond 〈ja〉 on the ranking of the universities which produced the high ratio of the graduates who hold the position of "president and chief executive officer of listed company" to all the graduates of each university
The university ranking according to the ratio of the number of the officers & managers produced by each university to the number of graduates