Priming questions:
1. What high schools are considered the "best" in Kumamoto? Why?
2. What is the oldest existing high school in Kumamoto?

10. 1890s Seiseiko, Kumamoto English School, Miyazaki Brothers

Kumamoto was devastated by the Seinan War, which destroyed …. Also, an earthquake on July 28, 1889 furthered the destruction. Not to be defeated, however, the people rose up again and tried to catch up with the rest of Japan. By this time, the Meiji government had settled in, and the new Meiji Constitution was established in 1890. Inoue Kowashi (井上毅)and Motoda Nagazane(元田長真)from Kumamoto became crafters of the Meiji Constitution (明治憲法1889) and the Imperial Rescript on Education (教育勅語1890).

As the country experienced a backlash against the original pro-Western Meiji government, a “spiritual sakkoku” occurred, with emphasis on Confucian values including devotion to the Emperor. During the Seinan War, Sassa Tomofusa (descendent of Sassa Narifusa above), fought with the Saigo Satsuma army against the government. He was imprisoned for this, and during this time he considered the importance of education. When he was released, he founded the Doshin Gakusha (同心学舎) in 1879 (明治12年), which in 1882 became Seiseiko High School as we know it today. This school stressed traditional Confucian values and loyalty to the Emperor, and was supported by the Shimeikai. In ...

On the other hand, the pro-Western faction was trying to continue its educational activities as well. Graduates of the Kumamoto western School returned to found the Kumamoto English School in 1888, six years after Seiseiko was formed. The first head was Ebina Danjo, who left the school in the care of …. In the early 1890s, pro-Western factions across Japan reacted to the new education order and constitution. One famous incident was in early 1891when Uchimura Kanzo, a famous Christian leader from the Sapporo Band, refused to bow low to honor the Emperor, and was fired from his position at Tokyo first high school, later Tokyo University. The Kumamoto English School had a similar incident in 1892 involving a teacher Okumura Teijiro (奥村貞次郎) who professed internationalism and world peace in a lecture. This was criticized as being against the spirit of the Kyoiku Chokugo, and the school split into two factions – one supporting Okumura and the other recommending that he be fired. Eventually, this damaged the school so much that it folded in 1896. It remains important today, however, for three reasons. First, the adjunct girls’ school was none other than the school that persisted until 2013? As Faith High School. Second, it served in its time as a major competitor in thought to Seiseiko, which strengthened and overtook the Kumamoto educational environment as a result of its demise. Third, (and this is a very little known fact) it employed a foreign teacher named Sydney L. Gulick, who later instigated the Japan-America “Blue-Eyed Doll” friendship program in 1925.

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