Hitotsubashi University began its life as the Commercial Training School (Shoho-Koshujo) in 1875 and was established by Arinori Mori in the central business district of Tokyo. Since that time, the University has adapted with the times and has evolved through a number of incarnations. In 1887, two years after the University had relocated to a new campus in Kanda-Hitotsubashi, it was renamed the Higher Commercial School. In 1920, it began a new incarnation as the Tokyo University of Commerce. Finally, after parts of the campus were destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake, the campus was moved to Kunitachi (its current location) and, in 1949, took the name Hitotsubashi University.

Throughout this long history, the Faculty of Commerce and Management has played a central role in the University. The school can trace its origins back to the very first incarnation of the University (The Commercial Training School), and, as a result, is proud to be one of the oldest and most distinguished business schools in the world.


We foster captains of industry who create value for business and serve communities in Asia.

We defined the mission statement aiming at providing high-quality education programs. Our students as well as academic staff understand what the statement means as a shared value to pursue.

“Captains of Industry” represent leaders in the business world. Hitotsubashi University, since its founding, has produced numerous distinguished professionals. It remains committed to the mission. For further details of the mission statement, please see below.


Hitotsubashi University was founded as the Commercial Training School (Shoho-Koshujo) in 1875; it was later renamed the Tokyo Higher Commercial School before becoming the Tokyo University of Commerce. Throughout its long history, Hitotsubashi University has contributed to the economic and social development of Japan and the world through producing highly capable professionals equipped with a strong sense of mission, expertise in objective analysis, and deep intellectual insight.

The Faculty of Commerce and Management carries on its proud traditions as one of the world’s oldest business schools, and is dedicated to the mission of developing business professionals fully able to take an active interest in corporate and market-related phenomena, to observe those phenomena closely in order to identify unresolved problems, to apply social scientific ideas and theories to the task of formulating solutions to those problems, and to put their solutions into practice in the real world.

Such professionals must possess (1) leadership abilities with profound insights and effective communication skills, (2) creativity underpinned by advanced expertise, and (3) high ethical standards and noble values marked by compassion for others and a global perspective.

Students of the Faculty of Commerce and Management are expected to contribute to and play a key role in society in Japan and beyond as professionals with a strong hands-on orientation; this means having the ability to creatively apply all intellectual resources to the task of solving the problems at hand, rather than simply accumulating knowledge at a theoretical level. Students are also expected to develop a cosmopolitan mindset, characterized by the capacity to make the most of their abilities unfettered by language and cultural differences.


Any differences between commerce and management and economics would likely be characterized differently by different universities. It is often noted that the content dealt with in commerce and management is more practical than that dealt with in economics. Although this may be true, we cannot explain away the differences between the two disciplines simply by saying that economics is the theoretical foundation and that commerce or business administration is the practice, nor can we simply say that economics is abstract while commerce or business administration is concrete. From the perspective of the Hitotsubashi University Faculty of Commerce and Management, the differences lie in the focus and the approach to analyzing issues:

1. Commerce and management focuses to a much greater extent on the topics pertaining to business administration than economics faculties.

2. Commerce and management, as an applied social science, draws on neighboring disciplines?economics, sociology, history, psychology, law, and so on?to enhance our understanding of business administration challenges. This cross-disciplinary approach allows a broader view of key issues than can be achieved through the lens of a single discipline; for example, law provides insight into accounting, sociology has close ties with business administration, and economic thinking and theories are clearly reflected in financial theory.

3. Finally, though cross-disciplinary, commerce and management has nevertheless developed unique perspectives not found in neighboring disciplines. For example, management organization theory seeks to understand business organization issues and phenomena through aspects of sociology, psychology, economics, and other lines of thinking. Yet, sociological or other thinking is not directly applied to the topics under consideration, but rather management organization theory has evolved its own theoretical constructs, and it is these unique constructs that are applied both in research and practice.

This practical utility and theoretical validity not only serves the business world, but also promotes a deeper understanding of the essence of the issues in business administration from a unique academic perspective. In other words, the practical skills one acquires in the Faculty of Commerce and Management have a solid theoretical basis.


In 1875, the Commercial Training School (Shoho-Koshujo) was established as a venue to learn “Commerce” (a “method” how to conduct business) in Owari-cho, Ginza, in central Tokyo. Arinori Mori and Eiichi Shibusawa, who developed a framework (basic structure) of the Japanese society in the Meiji era, founded it as what we call today a business school, recognizing that it is essential for the future development of Japanese economy and industry to learn modern corporate management, commerce and corporate environment systematically. The Commercial Training School changed its name to the Tokyo Higher Commercial School, the Tokyo University of Commerce, and eventually grew into the present Hitotsubashi University. We, the Faculty of Commerce and Management, with this proud tradition, have produced numerous professionals with the capability of transforming Japanese businesses and economic society from within. We also have engaged in evolving the study of commerce from practical science into a new realm of a more profound discipline.

Kazuhiro Tanaka, Dean,
Faculty of Commerce and Management,
Hitotsubashi University