History of Tohoku University
The origin of the university was Meirin-yokendo (明倫養賢堂 Meirin yōkendō), which was founded as a medical school in Sendai in 1736. It was reorganized a few times. Later it became Sendai Medical College (仙台医学専門学校 Sendai igaku senmon gakkō); this was the forerunner of the medical department of the university.
On June 22, 1907, the university was established under the name Tohoku Imperial University (東北帝國大學 Tōhoku teikoku daigaku) by the Meiji government as the third Imperial University of Japan, following the Tokyo Imperial University (1877) and the Kyoto Imperial University (1897). From its start, it has advocated "Open-door" policies—it was the first university in Japan to accept female students (in 1913) and foreign students.
In September 1907, it set up the faculty of Agriculture in Sapporo; the Sapporo Agricultural College (札幌農學校 Sapporo nō gakkō).
It set up the Science Department in 1911, and the Medical Department (formerly the Sendai Medical College) in 1915. In 1918 it ceded the Faculty of Agriculture to Hokkaido Imperial University. It subsequently launched Faculties of Engineering in 1919, and Law and Literature in 1922.
In 1947 the university assumed its current name, Tohoku University, acquired a new Faculty of Agriculture. In 1949, the Faculty of Law and Literature was split to form new faculties of Law, Literature, and Economics. A Faculty of Education was added in 1949, Dentistry in 1965, and Pharmacy in 1972. Tohoku has been a national university corporation since April 2004.
11 March 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
Subsequent to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the university was declared closed until further notice, but with a tentative re-opening date of the end of the following April.
The Aobayama, Katahira, Amamiya, and Kawauchi campuses are all at least 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) from the ocean, towards the mountains, and therefore suffered no damage resulting from the tsunami. No deaths or serious injuries within the faculty and student body were reported on campus grounds. However, earthquake damage lead to the closure of 27 buildings and caused millions of dollars of damage to equipment. Classes have resumed normally since early May 2011 and plans for restoring, reinforcing or replacing damaged buildings are underway.
The radiology department has been actively measuring radiation levels throughout the city of Sendai since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, which is about 100 kilometers south. So far no alarming levels of radiation have been detected.