What is National Defense Academy of Japan?


We introduce what National Defense Academy of Japan is in this article. Introducing everything of the academy, I need to write more than 100,000 words. Therefore, we will introduce the academy from four perspectives.


In 1952, National Defense Academy was established and called “Hoan(security) Daigakkou(college)” in Japanese at that time. Due to Defense Agency Establishment Act, the academy renamed “Bouei(defense) Daigakkou(college)” in 1954.

Situated on Obaradai, Yokosuka city, Kanagawa prefecture, the academy overlook Tokyo bay. The academy is military cadet school which has cultivated a lot of cadet of Japan Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense force.

Differ to typically Japanese schools, the academy is the organization under Japanese Defense Ministry. Because of this, the academy is called not “Bouei Gakkou” but “Bouei Daigakkou”. Japanese schools under Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology(MEXT) are called “Gakkou” contrary to that schools under any other Ministry and Agecy are called “Daigakkou”. The academy is boarding school and the cadets live in National Defense Academy four years.


As I said, National Defense Academy was established in 1952 due to National Security Agency Act. The establishment was ordered by Shigeru Yoshida who is former Japanese prime minister and signed Treaty of San Francisco : Treaty of Peace with Japan. The statement : “Cadet who have scientific education, knowledge and ability to think” , appointment of school headmaster from non military people and integration of ground, maritimew and air cadet schools are incorporated in the guideline of the establishment. This tells us how Shigeru Yoshida regretted the failures of WW2(Imperial Japanese Army had some problems such as mental and mythological think, rampage of army and conflict between Army and Navy)

Tomoo Maki, the first headmaster of National Defense Academy, have an impact on the present academy : the way of thinking of him is called Maki-ism. He is a professor of Keio University and educated the student of National Defense Academy based on the belief of “noblesse oblige” affected by Kiyoshi Ikeda who is the professor of same University.

There are a lot of what I want to introduce any more such as first foreign student in 1958, establishment of graduate school in 1961, adoption of the first girl student in 1992, etc. As there aren’t enough space, I refrain from wrighting about them.

Noblesse Oblige

Let me talk about a belief of “noblesse oblige” I reffered to. The phrase you will listen in National Defense Academy frequently is “noblesse oblige”. It derives from French words which means “responsibility of the noble”. The phrase is incorporated in British public schools, because students of the school tend to be from the noble and they had to fight as a comandder in war. Therefore, the students taken military classes such as people skills. Kiyoshi Ikeda incorporated the belief into a portion of Japanese Education.

Life Style

Lifestyle of National Defense Academy is separated into two terms : academic term and drill term. A schedule of drill term is changeable and you can’t know a schedule until them being displayed. First grade students get same drills contrary to second and more grade students getting drills depends on what kind(ground, maritime and air) of group do you belong to.

In the other hand, students get classes and live following regulated schedule in academic term. I introduce rough weekday schedule of the term. They wake up at 0600, and finish up roll call, cleaning, breakfast, ironing, shoeshine, and metal parts shining until 0800. After that, they form ranks, solute to national flag and head to their classroom. Then, they have a lunch and deal with what they have to do(ironing, bedmake, etc) at lunchtime. Afternoon classes start at 1315. They have club activities after the afternoon classes. They deal with what they have to do, dinner and taking a shower. There is self study time from 1930 to 2200. Finally they start roll call and cleaning again. The time they go to bed is 2230.

There are a lot of interesting events and competitions that I did not explain such as school festival, however their life style is like this.


We introduced National Defense Academy of Japan briefly in this artcle. CURIO WEB transmit infomation concerning the acadmy. If you become interested in Japan and this academy, I am so glad. We are accepting any questions every time from here. See you next time !!