Nanzan University

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Nanzan University
Former name
Nanzan College of Foreign Languages (1946-1949)
MottoHominis Dignitati (人間の尊厳のために, Ningen no Songen no Tame ni)
Motto in English
For human dignity
Type Private Roman Catholic Research Non-profit Coeducational Basic and Higher education institution
FounderFr. Joseph Reiners, SVD
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
(Divine Word Missionaries)
Academic affiliations
President Rev.Fr.Robert Kisala, SVD
Academic staff
Undergraduates 9,020
Postgraduates 179
Location, ,
35.1481°N 136.963°E
Campus Urban/Suburban
AffiliationsNanzan Gakuen

Nanzan University (南山大学, Nanzan daigaku) is a private, coeducational Catholic university run by the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) in the Shōwa Ward of Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious private universities in the Chūbu region. [1]



Nanzan is named after the forested mountains near Goken'ya-chō (五軒家町), known as Minamiyama (南山), which literally means "southern mountain". The on reading for "南山" is Nanzan. Also, in Chinese poetry "南山" refers to Mount Lushan until the Tang Dynasty and Mount Zhong Nan thereafter. Notably, the word appears in the classical poetry collection Shi Jing and the works of famous poet Li Bai. Thus, the choice of name is a celebration of longevity, perseverance, and prosperity for both the school and its alumni. [2]

Divine Word Missionary Josef Reiners founded Nanzan Junior High School in 1932. Nanzan Foreign Language School was added to the Nanzan system in 1946. Later, as the Society of the Divine Word appointed Rev. Ralph Thyken, the American representative of Fu Jen Catholic University, to Japan to participate in the establishment of a new Nagoya Catholic University, [3] and Nanzan Foreign Language School was formally renamed Nanzan University in 1949.

In 1995, Nagoya Seirei Junior College was subsumed by Nanzan when the two schools' organizations merged. [4] In 2008, Nanzan plans to open an elementary school, officially named Nanzan University Affiliated Elementary School.

Detail of one of the buildings constructed by Antonin Raymond Nanzan University 4490598972 885e4ec279 b.jpg
Detail of one of the buildings constructed by Antonin Raymond

In 1961, Czech architect Antonin Raymond was commissioned to design most buildings on the Nagoya campus. It was one of the largest projects that he would undertake. The campus was orientated on a north–south axis across rolling hills and the eight buildings were arranged to suit the typography and harmonise with the landscape. In-situ concrete is used throughout the scheme and each building has its own concrete form, some with pilotis, others with shells. [5]

Located to the east of the campus is the Divine Word Seminary Chapel, constructed in 1962. This is a building that exploits the plastic capacity of concrete, with two intersecting shells forming a bell tower. These are punctured with vertical slots which allow light to radiate along the curved interior walls. [6]

Nanzan Junior College (南山短期大学, Nanzan Tanki Daigaku) opened in 1968 as a women's junior college affiliated with the university. In 2011 the junior college campus was closed and reorganized as a department on Nanzan University's Nagoya campus offering courses in English language. [7]


Nanzan University is part of Nanzan Gakuen (南山学園, Nanzan gakuen), an educational complex of four high schools, and the university itself. Among coeducational universities, Nanzan is the only Catholic missionary school in the Chūbu region.

Nanzan has an active study abroad program with over 100 partner universities around the world. The Center for Japanese Studies opened in 1974, and is now one of the most prestigious Japanese language programs in Japan, accepting over 300 students a year into its fall, spring and summer programs.

For many years, Nanzan has held an annual competition with its Catholic sister schools Sophia University (上智大学, Jōchi daigaku) primarily focusing on athletics. Combining the first two syllables in Japanese of the respective schools, the Nanzan-Sophia event is known as the Jōnan-sen (上南戦) .

The humanities department offers priest training courses through its Christian studies curriculum.


Nanzan University in Nagoya Nanzan.jpg
Nanzan University in Nagoya
The Divine Word Seminary Chapel, constructed in 1962 by Antonin Raymond Divine Word Seminary Nanzan University 2014 (6).jpg
The Divine Word Seminary Chapel, constructed in 1962 by Antonin Raymond
Sports ground on campus Sports ground campus Nanzan University 2014.jpg
Sports ground on campus
International Student House International Student House Nanzan University 2014.JPG
International Student House

Nanzan's campus is in Yagoto, in the eastern part of Nagoya, in Shōwa-ku. The campus is about a 10-minute walk from either Nagoya Daigaku (名古屋大学) or Yagoto Nisseki (八事日赤) station on the Nagoya Municipal Subway's Meijō Line. Alternately, campus is a 15-minute walk from Irinaka (いりなか) on the subway's Tsurumai Line.

Faculties and departments

Graduate schools and programs

Notable alumni and students


Nanzan is a member of the ASEACCU (Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities), an organization of Catholic institutes of higher learning in the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and Japan. In addition to Nanzan, there are seven other Japanese members, including Sophia.

Sister schools

Associated schools

See also

Close by to the main campus is the Showa Museum of Art.

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  1. http:// auabroad.
  2. "Nanzan University Founding Principles" . Retrieved 2007-04-21.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Nanzan University Children of the Light". Archived from the original on 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  5. Japan Architect (2005), p124
  6. Helfrich & Whitaker (2006) p74
  7. 南山短期大学の名称変更、キャンパス移転および定員変更について [Concerning Nanzan Junior College's name change, campus closing, and transfer of personnel] (in Japanese). Retrieved 2013-09-27.

Coordinates: 35°08′53″N136°57′47″E / 35.1481°N 136.963°E / 35.1481; 136.963