In 1886, Rev. Teikichi Sunamoto started a small private girl’s school that has become Hiroshima Jogakuin today. Nannie B. Gaines, a missionary from America, arrived a year later to complete the foundation of the school. During the 132 years since its foundation, the world has seen economic, political and global changes, but Hiroshima Jogakuin’s founding principles of Christian education have not wavered. We value every individual student’s unique mission in life. We hope to foster the wisdom and power for them to reach their full potential as students and people.
The school badge symbolizes the shield in “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Ephes.6:16) The Latin words on the shield read Cum Deo Laboramus which means “We are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” (1 Cor. 3:9) The flower in the center is an iris which Miss Gaines liked best.
|October 1886||The Rev. Teikichi Sunamoto, after returning from the USA, started a school for girls. Reading, Morals and English were taught at first.|
|April 1887||Miss Nannie B. Gaines (1860–1932) was sent here from her church in the US, later becoming the first principal (September 1889).|
|February 1932||The school changed its name to the present Hiroshima Jogakuin. Jogakuin now has a kindergarten, junior high school, high school, university and graduate school.|
|August 1945||At 8:15 A.M., an atomic bomb was dropped over Hiroshima, taking the lives of more than 350 students and teachers. All the school buildings were destroyed.|
|October 1945||Lessons resumed using part of another school.|
|August 1947||A temporary school building and an auditorium were built on the present campus.|
|January 1964||The four-story building for the high school was completed.|
|January 1972||The gymnasium and an outdoor swimming pool were completed.|
|April 1986||Gaines Memorial Hall was completed as part of commemoration of the 100th anniversary.|
|August 1990||The new building for the junior high was completed.|
|July 1997||The Iris Center was completed, including an indoor swimming pool.|
|April 2010||The new high school building was completed.|
|March 2014||Jogakuin was designated as a Super Global High School.|
Our first principal Miss Gaines came to Hiroshima as a missionary at the age of twenty-seven. She worked for Jogakuin for forty-five years. She had a great sense of mission, determination, courage and patience. These formed the founding principles of the school and still remain so. Since its foundation, Jogakuin has always educated girls so that they would live their lives in a positive manner.
One important teaching in the Bible which supported Miss Gaines was “Love your neighbors as yourself.” Jogakuin has encouraged students to be concerned about their neighbors and the society where they live, without thinking just about themselves. That is why we place the importance of education of religion, peace, international understanding and human rights, so that students can experience loving their neighbors at school.
Hiroshima Jogakuin is one of the oldest Methodist mission schools in Japan. Teikichi Sunamoto and Nannie B. Gaines are the names we cannot forget as the people who made the first foundation of the school. The school motto: “We are God’s fellow workers” means that we should try to live in harmony with our neighbors and thus realize peace by working together in the world.
In June, we have “A Week to Pray for Peace.” During this week, we invite a special guest speaker who is working for world peace. The Student Peace Committee also does voluntary work, like fund-raising. In the “Christian Emphasis Week” in November, students have an important opportunity of thinking about how to live and how society should be constructed, by listening to guest speakers, doing volunteer activities such as working for and interacting with physically challenged people.
When the school was founded in 1886, education of women was still very basic in Japan. The founding of the school was therefore meaningful in order to educate women to be independent in society. This tradition remains unchanged. Our graduates are working throughout the world.
Education at Jogakuin is completed along the lines of a six-year curriculum, not only in each of the subjects, but in peace and human rights education.
English has been the main stream of subjects taught at Jogakuin. It is taught not just as a subject, however. It is a useful tool for students as they go into the world community. Small classes, various activities using English such as guiding people from abroad around Peace Park, English Adventure (English camp) held in July, and in-house speech, essay and presentation contests – all these contribute to students using English as a means of communication. The English Department has published several books: Summer Cloud (English version), essays written by students and parents who suffered because of the atomic bomb, My Hiroshima, a children’s picture book written by a graduate, who was 13 at the time of the bombing. Five original texts were also made in different topics – Hiroshima, Jogakuin, Literature, Peace, and Women.
The school provides students with opportunities to meet people from abroad so that they will learn about different cultures in the world. Some of the regular opportunities include: trips abroad in summer and spring; accepting international exchange students each year; and one year study abroad programs. Apart from those, several groups of overseas guests come to visit us every year and Jogakuin hosts regular peace conferences in the summer with many international participants.
We hope each one of the students will have a meaningful school life and grow into understanding and compassionate adults. Everyone has the right to live happily and must try to guarantee their own and other people’s rights. We try to educate students so that they will be important members of the community without discrimination, starting with looking at themselves and paying attention to other people around them.
To remember forever the loss of so many lives caused by the atomic bomb, Hiroshima Jogakuin teachers compiled Natsugumo (Summer Cloud) an anthology of essays on the atrocity. This is used by all the students for six years. Also in grade 8, students listen to people who experienced World War II. When they go on to high school, they study about Japan’s role in WWII, the battle on Okinawa, and the issue of the US Army bases. Students also guide visitors from other prefectures and abroad around the Peace Park. This is also a good opportunity for our students to develop the spirit of peace.
In junior and senior high school, the student council and clubs work together. The executive committees organize morning assemblies every week and the yearly sports day events and culture festival. Students often volunteer as a part of school life. Several years ago motivated students started a study group where they research important issues impacting the world and inform other students their findings. Thus, at Hiroshima Jogakuin, a wide variety of activities are going on to make school life rich in content.
In March 2014, Jogakuin was one of 56 schools selected by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to be a Super Global High School. This program promotes the development of global citizens of the world, something Jogakuin has done since it’s foundation 130 years ago. With the grants received from the government, Jogakuin can further it’s goals to educate informed, active and compassionate women who can make a difference not only in Japan but also internationally.
Hiroshima Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School
11-32 Kaminobori-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, 730-0014, JAPAN