The Faculty of Medicine can trace its origins back to 1869, shortly after the Meiji Restoration, when the Satsuma domain invited a British physician and medical educator, Dr. William Willis, to establish a school of Western medicine and a hospital—which became known as the “Akakura Byoin” or “Red-brick Hospital” because of the construction materials used—in Kagoshima. Large numbers of talented individuals from throughout Japan came to study at the school, where they were able to learn the latest medical techniques; this school made a substantial contribution towards the widespread adoption of Western medicine in Japan and towards the development of medical science. The school was forced to close during the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877; the Kagoshima Prefectural Medical School operated during the period 1880–1888, but following its closure the development of medical education in Kagoshima was interrupted until the establishment of the Kagoshima Prefectural Vocational Medical School , the direct ancestor of the Faculty of Medicine, in 1943. The School subsequently became Kagoshima Prefectural Medical College, before being absorbed into Kagoshima University as the Faculty of Medicine in 1955. On the restructuring of Kagoshima University in 2004, the official name of the Faculty was changed to the Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University National University Corporation. The Faculty’s School of Health Sciences evolved from the Kagoshima Prefectural Nursing School that was founded in 1948, and which subsequently became the Nursing School of the Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University; it was reorganized as the School of Health Sciences in 1998. The many graduates that the Faculty has produced over the years have been very active in helping to promote the development of medicine and healthcare throughout Japan, and in furthering the enhancement of citizens’ health and welfare.
The educational philosophy of the Faculty of Medicine aims to cultivate medical and healthcare professionals who possess a high level of humanitarian concern, are dedicated to contributing to the local community, are committed to research and have a global outlook. The Faculty provides an environment in which its highly-motivated students can—through carefully structured classes and through extra-curricular activities—learn from one another and acquire the knowledge, skills and ethical awareness required by medical and healthcare professionals.