About Osaka Dental University

History

The Dawn of Dental Education in Japan

100 years ago, at around the turn of the century, Japan did not have any formal educational institutions for dentistry.  Those who desired to pursue the profession had to obtain their licenses on their own by studying under an experienced doctor.  Dental medicine including dental education had yet to be recognized as a field independent from medicine.  The following years saw the spread of public hygiene and the development of dental medicine.  This brought about an increase in applicants for dentistry.  Private tutorship had its limits and prominent figures in dentistry began to establish training schools for dental education throughout the nation.

Ichitaro Fujiwara
Ichitaro Fujiwara
(1864-1938)
Founder of Osaka
Dental School
Rokuji Ogata
Rokuji Ogata
(1872-1950)
1st Dean of Osaka
Dental School


The Birth of Osaka Dental School

Like other regions of Japan, Osaka had its share of private schools and seminars by the end of the 19th century.  Ichitaro Fujiwara, later the founder of Osaka Dental School, was a promoter of one of these small schools.  He realized the necessity to establish a dental school and immediately began preparations with the help of many supporters.  Fujiwara's efforts finally bore fruit in December 1911 when the governor of Osaka authorized Osaka Dental School located at Nishinodaohno-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka.  The school was the third of its kind to be founded at the time.  Financial support came not from a single source but from a multitude of dental practitioners residing in the Osaka area.  This founding spirit remains the pride and joy of our school.  In January of the following year, under Rokuji Ogata (the first dean), the institution started as a night school offering intensive training courses to pass the license examination.  The following years saw Fujiwara at work trying to improve the educational environment of the school.  Daytime courses were introduced and efforts were made to promote Osaka Dental School to "Senmongakko" (college status) only to be given up due to financial limitations.  Following a consultation about the future of the school, Fujiwara's duties were taken over by a wealthy individual deeply concerned about education.  The person, Kenji Furukawa, provided his private funds to help establish an incorporated foundation and promote the school to college status in September, 1917.  The college started by offering a three year curriculum.  Courses were added expanding it to three and a half years in 1918 and then on to four years by 1924.  Being the only dental school in the Kansai area, many practitioners of the region focused their attention on the trends of the institution and generously cooperated with the education.  The foundation of the long standing tradition of our dental education was formed then.  Later in 1929, Hirakata Campus was completed.   The framework of the modern dental school we have today was completed with the 1935 construction of the hospital in Kyobashi.

Hospital in Karasugatsuji (1919)

Hospital in Karasugatsuji (1919)

Hirakata campus (1929)

Hirakata campus (1929)

Hospital in Kyobashi (1935)

Hospital in Kyobashi (1935)


Development of the School: The Post-War Years

In the years following World War 2, nationwide educational reforms were conducted under the supervision of General Headquarters (GHQ).  The school was authorized as a college under the University Act (the old system) which led to the establishment of Osaka Dental College in June 1947.  In August of the same year, a three-year preliminary course was established and the School of Dentistry was formed in 1949.  Further reforms in 1951 changed the organization to an incorporated educational institution.  Under the new education system of the National Education Reform Bill in February 1952, Osaka Dental College was re-established.  In March of the same year, the "Senmongakko" was closed after a history of 35 years.  The three-year preliminary course was changed to a two-year general education course in January 1955.  It was combined with a four-year professional education course finally becoming the 6 year curriculum that is offered now.  Over the next several years, the school took up the task of constructing its facilities: in October 1956, the Makino Campus lecture hall; April 1960, the expansion of the hospital; June 1961, the main building of the Temmabashi Campus.  Starting from September of 1961, the general education course was held at Makino Campus while the professional education course opened at Temmabashi Campus.

Makino campus (1952)

Makino campus (1952)

Temmabashi campus (1961)

Temmabashi campus (1961)


The Graduate School of Dentistry was established in March 1961 and the doctoral course opened in April.  A training school for dental technicians (April 1964) and a school for dental hygienists (April 1968), both affiliates of the institution, were established respectively.  The two schools were renamed as Dental Mechanics College and Dental Hygienists College in 1976.  The dental clinic attached to the Institute of Clinical Dental Research was opened in 1969.  The Makino Campus gymnasium was completed in 1974, and a new building was added to the hospital in 1978.  O.D.U. Annex, equipped with welfare facilities was erected in June 1992.  The school's name was officially changed to Osaka Dental University (O.D.U.) in 1989.

In April 1997, the school moved to the new campus in Kuzuha, Hirakata City while the new hospital opened at Temmabashi Campus.  The 90th anniversary of the founding of the school was celebrated in June 2001.

Kuzuha campus (1997)

Kuzuha campus (1997)

Temmabashi campus (1997)

Temmabashi campus (1997)


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