* Asterisked schools are particularly famous local private schools in Japan. The more asterisks, e.g. *** the greater the prestige and reputation for quality. The reputation of a Japanese private school is judged mainly by its success in placing its graduates in the first-class universities. Sophia, Keio and Waseda are reputedly the most competitive, ie. difficult as well as popular ones to enter (2004 info). Private school attendance was attendance was 79% for kindergartens, 0.9% for elementary schools, 4% for junior high schools, 29% for high schools, 91% for junior colleges and 76% for universities (2002 statistics).
We produced this tentative and cursory survey on local private schools due to many requests for such a list. The listing is not comprehensive but it is extensive. The list also focuses much on private schools with reputations for strong language immersion or instruction programmes as well as for their international orientation – where such information is known, it is indicated on the list. To follow up with your own research, and for further information, contact the Association of Private Junior and Senior High Schools in Tokyo at (03) 3263-0541.To enroll your child in a Japanese private school, you will need to apply directly to the school that you choose. Disclaimer: The list is based on a lot of hearsay and backed up by research from information available from the press or internet (where available). As such, the info below may not be reliable on all counts. Still the list is likely to give anyone looking into private schools for their children a headstart on their homework until such time when a better resource becomes known.
AICHI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (K – 9)
3-4, Nijigaoka, Meito, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Phone: 052-… Email: email@example.com
The AIS elementary program follows a hybrid Japanese-North American curriculum, and is currently seeking accreditation from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Subjects include English language, Japanese language, Math, Science, Social Studies, Music, Physical Education, Life Skill, and Moral Education. All subjects, with the exception of Japanese language and Social Studies, are taught in English. Focused on gaining accreditation from the MEXT, AIS uses government-approved textbooks that have been translated into English. In addition, these texts are supplemented with textbooks form overseas. The AIS curriculum is challenging. In addition to the two language classes (English & Japanese) the 9-year curriculum has been condensed to 7 years, to allow Junior High students to put their energy into focused subjects, cross-subject studies and SAT preparation. The AIS kindergarten program draws on Montessori techniques to help foster independence and self –confidence and primary focuses on immersing the children in English and surrounding them with a large variety of stimulating activities filled with music, movement, stories, show-and-tell, art, math, observation, experimentation, and some introduction to reading and writing). Although the school was designed for Japanese students it has roughly 30% of its student body from overseas.
ASANO JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Yokohama city
AZABU HIGH SCHOOL
The private high school sends its students abroad and accepts students from abroad to help its students broaden their international horizons. It has regular exchanges with the following schools: Winchester College, a British boarding public school (founded in 1382 and located in Winchester, Hampshire) and Ningbo Li Huili Vocational High School, which has a Japanese department, in China in Ningbo City. In addition, some of the students go abroad to study every year through such non-profit agencies for studying abroad as YFU(Youth For Understanding), AFS(American Field Service), and PIEE(Program of International Education Exchange). The school also accepts foreign students through YFU.
CARITAS GAKUEN , Kawasaki, Kanagawa
CARITAS GAKUEN is a Catholic school was established by missionary sisters of charity from Quebec, Canada comprising Caritas Kindergarten, Caritas Elementary School, Caritas High School (offers young Japanese girls a curriculum program divided into the six-year integrated Junior and Senior levels) and Caritas Junior College – together the schools provide a complete education from the age of four to the age of twenty. English and French so that the students will gain familiarity with different cultures and become internationally minded. The school offers students a balanced language education, with Japanese and native teachers of both languages, emphasizing all four skills and an international outlook. All students, from the 1st year of the junior high to the 3rd year of the senior high, take regular conversation classes with native teachers. Both English and French are compulsory in junior high, and senior high school students have to choose one of them as their main foreign language.
CHIBA KEIAI HIGH SCHOOL, Chiba prefecture
Yonban-gai dori, Chiba Prefecture 1522 Phone: 043-…
Students from Chiba visit Pittwater House School in Sydney in an exchange program. The school has its own gym fitness training room, pool as well as good PC facilities.
CHIBA NIHON UNIVERSITY DAIICHI JUNIOR & SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Funabashi, Chiba
One of the high schools affiliated with Nihon University, the school has a long history as a boys’ school until 1998, when girls in the first year entered our junior high school. By 2003 the school had become coeducational. Its high school graduates are admitted into a lot of colleges and universities in addition to Nihon University. The school seeks to give its students a cosmopolitan outlook and to help them to become well-disciplined and well-balanced students. The curriculum appears to emphasize English language instruction see http://www.chibanichi.ed.jp/karikura2.htm.
*DENENCHOFU FUTABA, Tokyo
Denenchofu Futaba Gakuen in Tokyo has email and letter exchange programmes with girls in Dame Alice Harpur in Bedford. This exclusive private school (K – senior high) is famed for being Princess Masako’s alma mater.
DOKKYO-SAITAMA JUNIOR & SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Saitama
DOSHISHA AFFILIATED SCHOOLS include:
DOSHISHA KINDERGARTEN; DOSHISHA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL; DOSHISHA JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL; DOSHISHA INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR & SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL; DOSHISHA GIRLS’ JUNIOR-SENIOR SCHOOL; DOSHISHA KORI JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
DOSHISHA INTERNATIONAL JUNIOR & SENIOR SCHOOL
Tatara, Tanabe-cho, Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto 610-03
Doshisha was established by Niishima Jo in 1875 to “bring up people who could be the conscience of the state”. The website says they welcome and accept children of Japanese employed abroad, and help them adapt themselves to the change and expand their personalities.
The website also acknowledges that their ordinary domestic students “acquire broader sights and better international sense from mixing with these former foreign residents at classes”.
For a complete listing of all Doshisha University affiliated schools, refer to this page http://www.doshisha.ed.jp/english/index.html which also provides a contact email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the schools.
*EIKO GAKUEN, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Eiko Gakuen was established by the Catholic Fathers of the Society of Jesus in 1947 to fill what was then described as Japan’s “spiritual vacuum”. The school has grown into a full-fledged six year school with about 1000 boys. The grounds and buildings were formally part of the former Japanese Navy Base in Yokosuka but the school was moved to Kamakura, see location link http://ekh.jp/e/about/loc.html. The students who attend Eiko come mainly from the Kamakura-Fujisawa-Yokohama area in Kanagawa Prefecture. The competition for entrance is keen, only the best students of some 200 grade schools sit for the examinations and usually only one out of every three or four boys who applies is accepted. Eiko, precentage-wise, is counted among the ten best of the almost 4000 senior high schools in Japan.
FUKUOKA DAIICHI HIGH SCHOOL
22-1 Tamagawa-machi, Minami-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka 815-0037
Phone / Fax: 092-… Email: email@example.com
The school’s Department of International Education offers students from English-speaking countries the opportunity for Japanese and overseas students to live and study alongside each other in the city of Fukuok. At any one time there are approximately 20 students from English speaking countries throughout the world, as well as over forty Japanese students living together in the school’s Guest House to attend the school for one academic school year. Scholarships are available.
FUKUOKA FUTABA SCHOOL (or FUKUOKA FUTABA GAKUEN)
*GAKUSHUIN (a.k.a. The PEER’S SCHOOL)
As elite as it gets, this is the private school to which the Imperial Family and descendants of pre-war nobility typically send ther sons (the Emperor, the Crown Prince) and the late Emperor Showa are all graduates).
GUNMA KOKUSAI ACADEMY (Grades 1 – 6)
69-1 Nishi Hon-cho, Ota-shi, Gunma 373-0033.
Phone: 0276… Fax: 0276-33-7710 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A private elementary school with an English Immersion Education programme in addition to its kokugo mainstream course (goals are mapped out at http://www.gka.jp/eigotokku/sld006.htm). The new school ultimately aims to offer integrated primary, middle and high school education covering the full 12 years of education, was launched with a student body of 106 first graders and 59 fourth graders. The school has received much press attention, see the following articles: Gunma Pref. school pioneers English-language immersion http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/language/20050712TDY18001.htm; and In Pursuit of English / Private Schools Blaze Trails Source: The Daily Yomiuri, Feb. 7. 2005 URL: http://www.asu.edu/educ/epsl/LPRU/newsarchive/Art5543.txt
*GYOSEI GAKUEN in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
An expensive prestigious Catholic boys school was founded by French missionaries in the 19th century. A private comprehensive system from K – through high school.
GYOSEI INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, Chiba prefecture
Phone: 0438… Email: email@example.com
*GYOSHU JUNIOR & SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
1361-1 Nakamiyo, Okanomiya
Numazu, Shizuoka 410-0011 Japan
The school is designated a SELHi* (Super Eng Lang High School) and features a six-year consecutive curriculum that delivers Humanistic education with English immersion programme. Students are prep’d for university entrance examinations. The school spells out help for coping with English immersion programme at its website http://bilingual.com/School/Newsletters/Immersion%20Newsletter%202.4.pdf *Designated Project School “Japanese who can use English” by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, & Technology
HAKURYO SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Hyogo prefecture
HAYATO SCHOOLS, Yokohama
The middle school for example has the rather interesting Project Adventure programme; an immersion programme at British Hills in Shirahama, Fukushima prefecture, a ski school in winter, as well as a free-reading time that begins at 8.30 am.
*HIROO GAKUEN (previously Junshin Girls’ School)
Website: http://www.junshin.ac.jp/en/, Hiroo-Azabu
Located in one of the most internationalized areas in Tokyo, HIROO has a long history of hosting international and exchange students. In 1973, MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology) appointed HIROO GAKUEN as one of the first designated schools for returning students who have studied abroad. This appointment was granted due to the school’s ability to provide a Japanese language program for students who lacked in their studies abroad. The school is so confident it seems that the school motto is “100% satisfaction after the admission, 200% satisfaction after the graduation” and it holds itself out as providing “the most efficient ways to educate the students to be promising persons”. JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) classes are offered not only to exchange students but also to students who had had education in the non-Japanese language environment. Advanced English courses are also offered to maintain and improve their English language skills. The school also provides special classes on Saturdays for students to improve their study skills for 3 major subjects; Japanese, English and Mathematics – a key selling point since one of the criticisms of public schools is that the decrease of schooling hours due to the yutori policy of giving more leisure time to kids to encourage creativity has resulted in declining literacy standards and international test rankings.
HIROSHIMA KOKUSAI GAKUIN HIGH SCHOOL
2-8-1, Kanihara, Kaita Cho, Aki-Gun, Hiroshima 736-0022
Native speakers teach English conversation (Oral Communication) once a week. They are from United Kingdom, America, and Australia. Recently, university entrance examinations have included listening tests, their English lessons have aided the students’ study tremendously. Native speakers also run on English club twice a week plus two-week homestays in Australia every year. The school also arranges an annual visit to their UK partner Beckfoot School in March with reciprocal visits from UK students.
HIROSHIMA SAN-IKU GAKUEN, Daiwa, Hiroshima http://www.san-iku.net/html/english/
A Christian co-ed private boarding school comprised of a 6-year integrated Junior High School and a Senior High School run by the Seventh Day Adventist church. It is part of a nation-wide system of Adventist Day schools, that includes 5 kindergartens, 10 elementary schools, 2 junior high schools and one college. Accredited by accredited by the Prefectural Board of Education as a school catering for Japanese returnees, the school provides them with a smooth transition back to a Japanese educational system. It is located in the breathtaking surroundings of an evergreen forest on top of one of the many mountains of the Hiroshima prefecture near the town of Daiwa. Among the school’s strengths are its offerings of high standards of English language studies, leading up to TOEFL testing.
HOSEI UNIVERSITY chain schools
A school chain that includes Hosei U First Junior and Senior High, Hosei U Second Junior and Senior High and Hosei Girls High School. The schools conduct many international student exchanges. The school offers an exciting approach to English instruction and the use of multimedia, see http://www.hosei2.ed.jp/js/js-index.html
HOSEN GAKUEN JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
A comprehensive school system (K – college). The school has a bilingual guide on school functions and its homestay programmes. http://www.hosen.ed.jp/english/index_english.html
HOSHINOGAKUEN JUNIOR & SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Saitama
Integrated six-year private high school curriculum that includes six hours of English language instruction per week per level.
IAI GIRLS JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Hakkodate city, Hokkaido http://www.iaijoshi-h.ed.jp/english/newpage/newpage1.htm
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL, Koganei-shi, Tokyo
1-1-1, Higashi-cho, Koganei-shi, Tokyo 184-8503, See access map here
INTERNATIONAL YAMANOTE KINDERGARTEN (Preschool – K)
15, Yamanote 2 Jo 3 Chome, Nishi-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido, 063-0002 Phone: 011-641-2191 Fax: 011-644-2004 Email: English@yamanotegakuen.co.jp
Established since the sixties as a Japanese school, the school changed its emphasis on instilling the idea of “internationalization” into the minds of kindergarten children with the hope that they would be able to take on a leadership role in their communities. It offers practical English classes by a full time native speaker who also uses it throughout the day to create an environment where practical English can be acquired naturally.