Also known as Keiko University, Tohoku University of Commercial Services and Science is a private institution which grew out of regional and civic demand, created in 2001 by a consortium of Yamagi Prefecture and 14 municipalities with the assistance of Keio University. It is the only university in Sakata, a town on the north-western coast of Honshu, largest of Japan’s islands.
The purpose-built campus on the Mogami River is overlooked by Mounts Chokai and Gassan. It developed rapidly, offering its first graduate programmes from 2005, opening research institutions in 2006 and the first doctoral programmes from 2007.
The assumption underlying its creation was that the essentially materialistic and market-driven values of the 20th Century would give way to a broader, more collaborative view of life in the 21st Century. It aspires to produce students who are "able to understand different values and cultures and to find a way towards a more reliable and symbiotic society".
In May 2018 there were 829 undergraduate students divided between two faculties. Business and policy management offers degrees in business administration, public policy and social welfare while cross-cultural studies offers international liberal arts, tourism and community design and media and information.
The university’s library holdings include what is claimed to be the best collection of New Zealand materials in Japan. Partner universities abroad include the University of the Waikato and institutions in Russia, China and the United States.
Recent achievements by university researchers include supplying software for an "Internet Telescope" at the Brera Observatory in Italy and the 3-D CGI preservation of movements in traditional local Noh Theatre performances.