Kikuchi Dairoku

Baron Kikuchi Dairoku (菊池 大麓, 17 March 1855 – 19 August 1917) was a mathematician, educator, and education administrator in Meiji period Empire of Japan.

Kikuchi Dairoku
Born(1855-03-17)17 March 1855
Died19 August 1917(1917-08-19) (aged 62)
Scientific career

Life and career

Kikuchi was born in Edo (present-day Tokyo), as the second son of Mitsukuri Shūhei, himself the adopted son of Mitsukuri Gempo, a Shogunate professor. Kikuchi Dairoku changed his name from Mitsukuri upon succeeding as the heir to his father's original family; the requisite legal procedures were completed in 1877.[1] After attending the Bansho Shirabesho, the Shogunal institute for western studies, he was sent to Great Britain, in 1866, at age 11, the youngest of a group of Japanese sent by the Tokugawa shogunate to the University College School, on the advice of the then British foreign minister Edward Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby.

Kikuchi returned to England in 1870 and was the first Japanese student to graduate from the University of Cambridge (St. John's College) and the only one to graduate from the University of London in the 19th century.[2] His specialization was in physics and mathematics. In 1884 he attended the International Meridian Conference in Washington, D.C. and the master class of Kelvin in Baltimore.

After returning to Japan, Kikuchi later became president of Tokyo Imperial University, Minister of Education (1901–1903,) and president of Kyoto Imperial University. His textbook on elementary geometry was the most widely used textbook in Japan until the end of World War II.

Kikuchi was made a baron under the kazoku peerage system in 1902 and was the eighth president of the Gakushūin Peers' School. In 1917 he became the first president of RIKEN, but died that same year.

Mitsukuri family

Kikuchi was a member of one of Japan's most distinguished and outstanding families of scholars, the Mitsukuri family, at the centre of Japan's educational system in the Meiji Era. His grandfather had been a student of Dutch studies ("rangaku"). His father Mitsukuri Shuhei had taught at the Bansho-shirabesho (Institute for Investigating Barbarian Books). His children were famous scientists, and his grandson Minobe Ryōkichi became governor of Tokyo.

See also


Japanese at Cambridge

Other Japanese who studied at the University of Cambridge after Kikuchi:

British contemporaries at Cambridge

British contemporaries of Kikuchi at the University of Cambridge:

References & further reading

  1. Japanese Students at Cambridge University in the Meiji Era, 1868-1912, pg 66, Noboru Koyama
  2. "Kikuchi, Dairoku Yasuyuki (KKCY873DY)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.. Venn also lists him under the name 'Dairoku, Yasu-Yuki Kikuchi'. In one case his birth date is given as May 17, 1855; in the other as March 17, 1855.
  • Cobbing, Andrew. The Japanese Discovery of Victorian Britain. RoutledgeCurzon, London, 1998. ISBN 1-873410-81-6
  • Keane, Donald. Emperor Of Japan: Meiji And His World, 1852–1912. Columbia University Press (2005). ISBN 0-231-12341-8
  • 'Kikuchi Dairoku, 1855–1917: Educational Administrator and Pioneer of Modern Mathematical Education in Japan,' by Noboru Koyama, Chapter 7, Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits Volume 5, Global Oriental 2005, ISBN 1-901903-48-6
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ryohei Okada
President of Kyoto University
Succeeded by
Mitsuru Kuhara
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