Under the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, the University of the Ryukyus was founded as a territorial university, on the site of the historic Shuri Castle in Naha on May 22, 1950.
The castle was burnt to ashes in the Battle of Okinawa, a major battle of the Pacific War fought on the island of Okinawa by United States Marine and Army forces against the Imperial Japanese Army.
The University of the Ryukyus (Ryūkyū Daigaku), abbreviated to Ryūdai, became a Japanese national university on May 15, 1972 when Okinawa was relinquished by the United States of America.
Located in the Senbaru neighbourhood of the town of Nishihara, Ryudai’s campus borders both the village of Nakagusuku and the city of Ginowan. It is Japan’s westernmost national university and the largest university established in the Okinawa Prefecture, which is Japan’s southernmost. It consists of six faculties: law and letters; education; science; medicine; engineering and agriculture; and eight graduate schools: humanities and social sciences; education; medicine; health sciences; engineering and science; agriculture and law.
Ryudai also has a museum, named the Fujukan, which has an extensive collection including biological specimens found around the Ryukyu Islands, artefacts from the Shuri Castle, traditional farming tools, local crafts, folk toys and geological samples.
Ryukyus has an American football team, called the Ryukyus Stingrays, which competes in the Kyūshū Collegiate American Football Association. As a university hub in an island region which includes a vast marine area, Ryudai is expected to contribute to the protection of the rich natural environment and the sustainable development of the local community.