Ever since the clinical application of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging became an essential diagnostic tool, the lung has been a challenging area. Although many physicists and radiologists tried to assess different lung diseases as well as mediastinal and cardiac diseases by means of MR imaging during the 1980s and early 1990s, they could neither produce convincing image quality within a reasonable examination time nor demonstrate that MR imaging could serve as a substitute for computed tomography (CT), pulmonary angiography, and/or nuclear medicine studies. However, improvement of the 1.5-tesla (T) MR system and sequences, clinical application of new techniques such as parallel imaging, and utilization of more effective contrast media have continued since the late 1990s. These developments have made it possible to apply lung MR imaging to not only oncologic but also other pulmonary diseases, as well as to not only morphological but also functional assessment of various pulmonary and cardiopulmonary diseases. Moreover, these improvements have been continuing, resulting in the gradual shifting to the use of a higher magnetic strength field (≥3 T) for lung MR imaging during the 2000s.