J. F. Oberlin Junior and Senior High School was founded by Reverend Yasuzo Shimizu in 1946 and 1947 in Machida, on the outskirts of the Tokyo Metropolitan area. The school is a co-ed private middle school rooted in the Christian faith. About 500 students enroll in the junior high school, and 1000 students in the high school.
J. F. Oberlin University and Affiliated Schools’ roots can be traced back to China and the U. S. In 1921, Shimizu founded a school, “Sutei-Gakuen,” in Beijing where students of any nationality could enroll and learn together. Shimizu respected all students, called Chinese and Korean nationalities by their own names and encouraged them to retain their cultures and traditions. Graduates from “Sutei-Gakuen” fondly remember the founder’s such actions, and the memory remains as a significant encouragement in their lives. “Sutei-Gakuen” has taken on the name Chen Jing Lun Junior High School, and holds a prodigious reputation.
After the end of the World War II, Shimizu and his wife Ikuko returned to Japan, and with the idea, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (Corinthians 4:8-9),” in his mind, they started all over again in Machida and founded what is now J. F. Oberlin Junior and Senior High School.
The two founders settled on naming the new school as ‘Obirin,’ meaning “beautiful woods of cherry blossoms” in Japanese. That was both because the site of the new school was nestled into a hillside covered with cherry blossoms, and because it sounded like the name of their alma mater, Oberlin College, Ohio, in the United States. Their educational aim is to foster internationally-minded students with the Christian faith.
Shimizu set the school motto as “Learning and Labor,” which means to use what one has been learning for society and for the benefits for others. The concept has been passed on and asks each student the meaningfulness of learning.
Education grounded in the spirit of Christianity is the root of our school's mission. Students and teachers begin every day with a morning prayer. We give thanks for the life given to us, listen to the words of the Bible and look into ourselves.
2. Nurturing the Heart and Building a Connection
We acknowledge that every one of us is an irreplaceable being. Precisely for this reason we seek to nurture individuals who will be able to understand others and deal with circumstances in a spirit of cooperation.
Key Features in Education
Junior High School
The education in our junior high school has two goals: to establish a firm foundation for learning, and to enable students to learn on their own. In the first year of junior high, teachers devote great care and effort to teaching students how to study at home as well as in school, how to prepare for class and how to review. In the second year, teachers promote a further desire to study as making sure each student learns to balance time and effort among various subjects. In the third year, students are expected to have their goals, including an idea of how they are going to learn at the high school.
We emphasize English language education, using advanced level textbooks. In accordance with the subject motto, “Express Yourself in English,” we encourage students to speak out their own ideas in English. Through interacting with bilingual teachers and various international activities, we aim to foster students’ solid foundation for future learning.
Senior High School
At the high school, we welcome students who are new to J. F. Oberlin in addition to those who advanced from the junior high school. During the first two years in high school, we strive to provide instruction that encourages students to examine themselves and reflect on how best to live their lives. This goal is aimed not merely at imparting book knowledge to students but at helping them to develop a broader sense of learning and the ability to fulfill their potential. In their second year, students are separated into humanities course and the science course according to their interests. In the third year, regular classes end at noon, and in the afternoon, selective courses that suit students’ concerns are provided to gear up for their aspirations.
Guidance counselors work with year-head teachers and each student’s homeroom teacher to offer detailed guidance for student’s future career. Various lectures related to career education are offered from their first year in junior high school, and give the students opportunities to foster their interests. In the third year of high school, many students apply to public and highly selective private universities. There is also a track to enter J. F. Oberlin University. We are constantly making efforts to build the systematic career support that will enable him or her to be active in society.