Musashino Art University

Can you stand on that horizon?

What is art? What is design? What am I trying to find out? The process of expression begins in the moment when you ask these questions. When you look at things squarely and give outward shape to your feelings and thoughts as you continue to ponder various questions, creative expression happens naturally. The important thing is to try to understand what you don’t understand.
Understanding is the starting point of creative expression, and it is in the passion that transcends words and logic that this understanding is nurtured.

If you’re at the shoreline, are you able to stand on the far-off horizon? You may say, “The horizon is just a line we see, so of course I can’t stand on it.” This is the kind of reasoning that we want you to leave behind starting today. There may be no such “thing” as a horizon, but you can be sure about the sand under your feet and you can touch the ocean water with your hand. The “horizon” exists as an extension of these actual things. Even if logic tells you that the horizon isn’t there, believe that you’ll stand on it one day, and set out for it based on that conviction. I believe this is what it means to be creative.

If you keep thinking inside the box, you can’t accomplish anything. Believe in yourself, have courage, and take the first step forward. We at Musashino Art University look forward to seeing where your vision takes you. Since the founding in 1929 of its predecessor Teikoku Art School, Musashino Art Universityone of Japan’s leading private art education institutions–has been producing many talented artists, creators, designers and cultural leaders based on the philosophy of “offering art education that enables students to attain true freedom as human beings.”

MAU is also a Japanese pioneer in correspondence education, with over 50 years’ experience in offering correspondence courses in fine arts. Furthermore our alumni association, which is active not only in Japan but also overseas, now has 68,976 members.

Internationalization initiatives have been a tradition of Musashino Art University since its establishment. In 2012, MAU was the only arts university selected for the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology “Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development” (funding period: FY2012–FY2016). In order to be a pioneering model, we will continue to bring to life a variety of new education programs and actively promote further internationalization.

In FY2019, which marks the 90th anniversary of the university’s founding, we will embark on a new phase in our development. MAU will become a university with two undergraduate colleges when the new College of Creative Thinking for Social Innovation opens, alongside the existing College of Art and Design. The new college will consist of two departments: the Department of Creative Innovation and the Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences. At the postgraduate level, the Imaging Arts and Sciences Course will be transferred to the new Graduate School of Creative Thinking for Social Innovation, alongside the new Creative Leadership Course. This move — a creative and ambitious challenge for an art university — will enable us to foster talented individuals equipped with the creative thinking ability that MAU has cultivated since its founding through a unique program of art and design education and liberal arts education, and the capacity to apply this ability in the real world as they pursue innovation to develop the societies of the future on the global stage. Furthermore, with a view to our centenary, MAU will take a big step toward the society of the future by establishing the Ichigaya Campus in the heart of the metropolis, with its convenient transport access, to serve as a new center for education and research that is open to society.

As President of Musashino Art University, I am committed to the further enrichment and progress of both art and design education and education focused on creative thinking for social innovation at our university, which aims to cultivate talented and internationally successful creators on a foundation of respect for Japan’s traditional culture, and I am dedicated to the goal of contributing further to a bright future for society, together with this world-class educational institution which “stands on that far horizon.”

NAGASAWA Tadanori, President


President, Musashino Art University

Born in Toyama
BA in Science of Design, Musashino Art University
MA in Graphic Information, Royal College of Art, London
Design office "Tadanori Nagasawa & Associates" established
President, Tadanori Nagasawa & Associates Limited
Director in Japan, Design Analysis International limited, London
Associate Professor, Tohoku University of Art & Design
Professor, Musashino Art University
Holds positions including Director of International Relations, Director of Planning Division, and Deputy President, Musashino Art University
Councilor, Musashino Art University
President and Trustee, Musashino Art University
The Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art

Specialized Field: Cultural Engineering, Design Education, Design Consulting