University History and Timeline

University History

Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies is an independent, co-educational four-year liberal arts university.
The school’s roots go back to the months after the city had been reduced to ashes by the atomic bomb. It was founded as Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages on December 1, 1945, by the Reverend Takeo Aoyama, Mr. Sumio Ogata, and other members of the Uma-machi Church in downtown Nagasaki.
The little school in a church stood as a symbol of the will that characterized Japan’s postwar recovery: to rebuild its shattered world as a society dedicated to peace and understanding.
Both the study of languages and Christianity have played an important part in the history of this international city. During the period of national isolation from 1641-1859, ambitious young people came to Nagasaki from all over the country to study Dutch. Their aim was to absorb advanced Western civilization, especially technology, through the foreigners who were allowed to live only in Nagasaki. Also, after the country was opened again, Nagasaki regained its position as the center of Christianity in Japan.
After the end of World War II, the founders set up a language school to revive Nagasaki as a center of language learning. The school hoped to provide the surviving youth with the opportunity to study foreign languages, which had been forbidden during wartime, in order to promote peace and mutual understanding with other nations. They chose for their educational ideal a Christian emphasis in preparing students to make a significant contribution to society, fostering respect for themselves and for others.
1986 marked the opening of another classroom and auditorium building to bring the Izumi campus to its completion.
In 1958 the original site in the YMCA in central Nagasaki City was taken over by the city to make way for the new Civic Auditorium. The college moved to a new campus in the north part of town, in Izumi-machi, with the construction of new facilities. A five-story addition was added in 1965 to house an expanded library and an Audio-Visual section. When the dormitory was destroyed in the great flood of 1982, a new dormitory for 100 students was constructed.
As the school continued to grow, it was evident that even more facilities were needed, but space in the Izumi campus was limited. Plans were undertaken to move the college once again. The 1996 school year opened in an entirely new facility in Togitsu-cho, a suburb of Nagasaki City. The present campus boarders on the City of Nagasaki on two sides, and its location atop a hill allows it a spectacular view of Omura Bay and the surrounding community. The new buildings include a gymnasium, an expanded Multi-Media Library, and an extensive Multi-Media Center with computer-assisted instruction rooms.


  • November 1901 Nagasaki YMCA Founded
  • March 1930 YMCA suspends operations but members continue activities through maintenance organization
  • December 1945 – United Church of Christ in Japan’s Umamachi Church opens temporary YMCA offices, makes preparations for new YMCA activities and the founding of Nagasaki School of Foreign Languages
  • April 1947 – YMCA Nagasaki inherits former maintenance organization, reorganizes as Nagasaki School of Foreign Languages (39 Umamachi, Nagasaki City) and is licensed by prefectural governor
  • New school opens with 50 students specializing in English literature and commercial courses. Also, the new school establishes a Language Education Center with evening courses for non-degree-seeking students
  • September 1948 – School moves to new building in 1 Motodaikumachi, Nagasaki City
  • March 1950 – Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages receives license to establish courses of study in American and British English
  • April 1950 – Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages established
  • March 1951 – In accordance with private school laws, the Nagasaki YMCA preservation foundation is reorganized as YMCA Nagasaki School Corporation
  • February 1954 – Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages receives approval to expand American and British English studies into two departments
  • April 1959 – School moves to new building in 243 Sumiyoshi (now Izumimachi)
    February 1960 – YMCA Nagasaki School Corporation name formally changed to Nagasaki School Corporation
  • March 1962 – Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages American and British English departments 1 and 2 renamed as Foreign Language departments 1 and 2
  • December 1965 – Celebration of 20th anniversary since school’s foundation
  • January 1971 – Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages expands capacity of Foreign Language Department 1 from 80 to 120 students, establishes majors in English, French, and Spanish
  • November 1975 – 30th anniversary of school’s foundation, “30 years of progress” magazine published
  • May 1981 – Sports field constructed as part of 35th anniversary celebration
  • November 1982 – Izumi residence hall constructed
  • December 1985 – 40th anniversary celebration
  • December 1986 – Department of Foreign Languages capacity expanded from 120 to 240
  • March 1984 – Building #3 constructed
  • December 1989 – Department of International Culture (capacity 60) established
  • April 1990 – Department of International Culture opened, Department of Foreign Languages 1 merged into Department of Foreign Languages
  • June 1990 – Celebration to commemorate school’s 45th anniversary and opening of International Culture department
  • December 2000 – International Communication Department established, consisting of 60 students from the Department of International Culture and 30 students each from the Department of Foreign Languages English, French, and Spanish courses
    School address changed to 3-15-1 Yokoo, Nagasaki City
  • April 2001 – Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies established, Department of Foreign Languages merged into Department of English
  • May 2001 – Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies opening ceremony
  • March 2003 – Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages Departments of Foreign Language and Foreign Culture ended
  • April 2003 – Non-degree two-year English course established (10 students entering)
    New school cafeteria opened
  • April 2004 – Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies admission capacity increased from 150 to 180, College of Foreign Studies capacity changed from 150 to 120
    March 2005 – Corporate office established in Yokoo, Nagasaki City
  • December 2005 – 60th anniversary of school celebrated, Ampelos residence hall management and operation assumed
  • March 2006 – Nagasaki College of Foreign Languages non-degree course (10 new students) ended
  • April 2007 – College of Foreign Languages admission capacity changed from 120 to 80
  • June 2007 – University parent and guardian meeting established
  • May 2008 – Plans announced to create Department of Modern English (accepting 80 new students), change annual admission to 170 students, and accept 85 first-year and 30 additional students into Department of International Communication as of April 2009
  • June 2008 – Notification to Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of intent to end recruitment of students to two-year College of Foreign Languages
  • December 2008 – “Nagasaki School Corporation 60th year anniversary” magazine published
  • April 2009 – Department of Modern English established

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