Hitane Elementary School


Here are pictures from Hitane Elementary School (直根小学校) in Chōkai, Yurihonjo, Akita.

20111021.4817.hitane_es.jpg 20110703.1004.jpg 20100514.3984.jpg 20110218.0319.jpg 20101217.7243.jpg 20110902.3294.jpg 20110218.0309.jpg 20111111.5247.hitane.jpg 20120302.0437.hitane.jpg Chokai/Hitane_Song.jpg Chokai/Hitane_History_1.jpg Chokai/Hitane_History_2.jpg Chokai/Hitane_ES_Map.jpg Chokai/Chokai_Map.png

The above maps are from OpenStreetMap (© OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA 2.0). Hitane Elementary School goes back to 1874 — here's the school's history. The Japanese is copied from a now-defunct blog by enkakusi1, and I translated it to English.

Year Era
1874-10-15Hitane Elementary School is formed.
The temporary location is Shōjūji.
Hitane Elementary School is in University 7, Middle School 62-64 Group. At this time, the country's education is divided into 8 university groups, each containing 32 middle school groups, each containing 210 elementary school groups. Also, elementary school is divided into lower (6-9 years old, 3 years) and upper (10-13 years old, 3 years).
明治 7.10.15直根学校として本校の創意をみる。
※直根学校は第7大学区13番中学区62〜64小学区であった。これは学制発布が全国を8大学区とし,1大学区に32中学区を,1中学区に210小学区を設けたことによる。 また,下等小学は6〜9才の3年間,上等小学は10〜13才の3年間であった。
1879-01-11First graduates of lower grade elementary school. 12.1.11下等小学校の最初の卒業生を出す。
1880-04-10Hitane Elementary School instruction tour to Momoyake, Kami-Hitane, and Sarukura. 13.4.10直根学校の巡回教授所を百宅・上直根・猿倉に置く。
1880-12A major education revision occurs. Schools are split into a 3 year primary course, a 3 year intermediate course, and a 2 year upper course. This school has only elementary level students. 13.12教育全改正により初等科3年,中等科3年,高等科2年となり,本校は初等科のみ。
1883-08-12Shōjūji is destroyed by a fire. The school temporarily moves to 3 new locations at houses of local residents: Jūbē Satō, 新田宗祥太, and Denjūrō Takahashi. 16.8.12正重寺焼失により,佐藤重兵ヱ・新田宗祥太・高橋伝十郎方に分散仮校舎とする。
1886-04-01Momoyake Branch School is established. 19.4.1百宅に分教場を設置する。
1887-04A major education revision occurs. Schools are split into a 4 year ordinary elementary course and a 4 year higher course. The school becomes 直根簡易小学校. 20.4学制改革され,高等小学4年,尋常小学4年,簡易小学3年となり,本校は直根簡易小学校となる。
1887-05-31Kami-Hitane Branch School and Sarukura Branch School are established. 20.5.31上直根・猿倉に分教場を設置する。
1889-10-01Momoyake Branch School, Kami-Hitane Branch School, and Sarukura Branch School close. 22.10.1百宅・上直根・猿倉の3分教場を廃止する。
1892-06-05An elementary school reform is ordered. Under the new age grouping, the common section level is 3-4 years, and the upper level is 2-3 years. The school becomes 直根村立尋常小学校. The school adds a 4th grade class. 25.6.5小学校令の改正により,尋常科(3〜4年)高等科(2〜3年)となり,直根村立尋常小学校と改称,修業年限4年となる。
1893-02-01Small branch schools are opened in Kami-Hitane and Momoyake. 26.2.1上直根に分教場を設置し,百宅分教場と称する。
1897-11-25In Chikoshi, a private house of 116m² is purchased. In 1901, it is enlarged to 132m², and in 1908, it is enlarged to 172m². 30.11.25打越に民家を購入,35坪の校舎を建築する。(34年40坪増築,41年模様替と増築52坪)
1898-02-19In Kami-Hitane, the Momoyake Small Branch School gets a new building in the neighborhood of Nakamura.
On the same day, in the village of Mamenashi in Kami-Hitane, Kami-Hitane Small Branch School is opened.
In 1902, Momoyake Small Branch School moves to a new building located in Yama no Sawa.
1902-03-12Kami Hitane Small Branch School becomes Kami-Hitane Ordinary Elementary School.
On 1911-03-18, the school is demoted back to a small branch school. At that time, the branch school was located in Momoyake.
1908-04-01By imperial edict, the length of compulsory education is extended to 6 years. 5th and 6th grade are added to the school. 41.4.1勅令により義務教育年限は尋常科6年,高等科2年となり,本校は修業年限6か年。
1911-01-19In Sarukura, a special winter classroom is added, teaching 1st-4th grade in a single classroom. 44.1.19猿倉に冬季特別教場を置く。(4年まで単級)
1912-01-11At 11:40 a.m., fire breaks out. All of the school's official documents burn. Following this, a new graduation ledger is created. 45.1.11午前11時40分学校より出火,校舎書類の一切を焼失する。(卒業台帳はこの年度より新たになる。)
1914-10-01To replace the school destroyed in the 1912 fire, a new building is constructed in Nakamura, Shimo-Hitane. 大正 3.10.1火災により焼失した校舎を下直根字中村に再建落成する。
1919-04-01Upper grade levels are added and the school becomes a regular elementary school with the new name "直根村立尋常小学校". 8.4.1高等科を併置し,直根村立尋常小学校と改称する。
1927-11-22Addition to school building complete. 昭和 2.11.22校舎増築落成する。
1936-12-30Momoyake Branch School building renovation complete. 11.12.30百宅分校改築落成する。
1941-04-01The school becomes Hitane National Elementary School.
Because of the wartime nationalistic influence, elementary schools in Japan changed to this system from 1941 to 1947.
1947-04-01In an educational reform, schools are divided with 6 years for elementary and 3 years for junior high. The school becomes 直根村立直根小学校. 22.4.16・3制実施にともない,直根村立直根小学校と改称する。
1948-11-30Sarukura Branch School building renovation complete. 23.11.30猿倉分校改築落成する。
1948-12-01Teshirosawa Branch School opens. 1st-6th grade use a single classroom. 23.12.1手代沢に分校設置。(1〜6年の単級)
1950-02-10Major structural repairs are completed on Kami-Hitane Branch School.
In 1958-1959, the gymnasium is renovated.
In 1971, the building is extended.
1952-04-04In Sodegawa, a branch school is established, containing 1st-5th grade. The building is renovated in 1959. 27.4.4袖川に分校設置。(1〜5年の単級)34年改築。
1954-09-15School celebrates its 60th anniversary.
A publication is produced, a commemorative event is held, and playground equipment is improved.
1955-03-31The three villages of Kawauchi, Jinego, and Hitane combine to form Chōkai. The school name becomes 鳥海村立直根小学校. 30.3.31川内・笹子・直根3村の合併により鳥海村誕生,鳥海村立直根小学校と改称する。
1956-05-08The school flag is established. 31.5.8校旗を樹立する。
1959-12-04The school song is created. The lyrics are written by Takahashi, from Naka-Hitane. The music is written by Komatsu, from Higashiyuri. 34.12.4校歌を制定する。作詞:高橋亮吉氏(中直根出身)作曲:小松耕輔氏(東由利町舘合出身)
1961-10-01Teshirosawa Branch School closes. 36.10.1手代沢分校を廃校にする。
1961-10-23In 1960-1961, Kami-Hitane Branch School is designated a "Teaching Japanese for Combined Class Instruction" school by the Akita Prefectural Board of Education. The school receives a commendation from the Akita Board of Education on October 8, 1962. 36.10.23上直根分校を会場に35・36年度県教委指定の「複式学級に於る国語科同単元学習指導の研究」を公開する。(37年10月8日県教委より表彰)
1963-04-01Momoyake Branch School separates from Hitane Elementary School and becomes 鳥海村立百宅小学校. 38.4.1百宅分校は本校より分離して鳥海村立百宅小学校となる。
1966-11-14Renovation of Sarukura Branch School complete. 41.11.14猿倉分校を改築落成する。
1968-03-31Sodegawa Branch School closes. 43.3.31袖川分校を廃校にする。
1969-11-19In Nakamura, Shimo-Hitane, school building renovation complete. Full school lunch is introduced. 44.11.19下直根字中村に校舎改築落成する。(校舎完成とともに学級給食はじまる。)
1970-11-15In Nakamura, Shimo-Hitane, gymnasium construction complete. 45.11.15下直根字中村に体育館落成する。
1974-10-25School's 100 year anniversary ceremony. 49.10.25創立百周年記念式典を挙行する。
1976-07-03Schoolyard enlarged by 180m². 51.7.3校庭180m²の拡張工事完了する。
1979-07-03"Town-designated Special Activity Research Project" exhibition occurs. 54.7.3「町指定特別活動研究」を公開する。
1981-03-31Kami-Hitane Branch School closes. Its students move to Hitane Elementary School. A school bus route is created. 56.3.31上直根分校を廃校する。(上直根の通学はスクールバスになる)
1983-09-22As part of a prefectural rural area research project, a town-designed "Educational Guidance" research meeting occurs. 58.9.22県へき地教育研究会,町指定「学習指導研究会」を公開する。
1984-03-31Sarukura Branch School closes. Its students move to Hitane Elementary School. 59.3.31猿倉分校を廃校する。
1984-04-01Momoyake Elementary School closes. Its students move to Hitane Elementary School. A school bus route is created. 59.4.1百宅小学校を統合する。通学はスクールバスになる。
1985-08-08Hitane Elementary savings group receives commendation from farm cooperative treasury director. 60.8.8直根小学校貯金会,子ども信用協同組合農林中央金庫理事長表彰を受ける。
1986-11-13Hitane Elementary School PTA receives commendation from All-Japan PTA organization chair. 61.11.13直根小学校PTA日本PTA全国協議会長表彰を受ける。
1987-10-10Chōkai area public research meeting with the theme, "Educational planning on how to improve math and science fundamentals." 62.10.10鳥海地区学習指導公開研究会,研究主題「算数科における基礎学力の向上を図る学習指導」
1988-11-25School facade and lunch room walls resurfaced. Gymnasium exterior wall repainted. 63.11.25校舎正面及び給食室の壁面全張替と体育館外部壁面張替塗装完成。
1989-03-306 classroom ceilings and 5 special use room ceilings resurfaced. 平成 1.3.30教室(6),特別教室〈5)の天井,壁面の塗装完成する。
1989-04-30School yard and driveway are paved with asphalt 4m wide. 1.4.30校庭通学路全面改修舗装(巾員4.0mアスファルト)
1989-08-23In the school yard, a athletics facility (with 5 parts) is constructed using donations from the PTA. 1.8.23校庭にアスレチック施設(5種類)をPTA奉仕作業で完成する。
1989-02-08School designed as part of Ministry of Education's "Diligent Service Manufacture Practice" program. Hallway walls resurfaced. Staff bathrooms completed. 1.2.8文部省指定「勤労生産学習」初年度,校舎廊下のし板全面張替,職員トイレ完成。
1991-10-02Ministry of Education's "Diligent Service Manufacture Practice" exhibit occurs. Gymnasium is refurbished. 3.10.2文部省指定「勤労生産学習」公開,体育館内装張替。
1993-02-25School is presented with a thank-you letter from the Akita Prefectural Children's Museum for "Tomato Universe Cultivation". 5.2.25宇宙トマト栽培の功績により,秋田県立子ども博物館より感謝状と記念品を贈呈される。
1994-10-15120 year anniversary. 6.10.15創立120周年記念の年を迎える。
1995-12-13A new school flag is introduced. 7.12.13校旗及び略旗を新調する。
1996-07-31Hitane Elementary savings group receives commendation from farm cooperative treasury director. 8.7.31直根小学校貯金会,子ども信用協同組合農林中央金庫理事長表彰を受ける。
1997-10-02Chōkai area public research meeting with the theme, "Raising children who can vividly express themselves with thought and passion." 9.10.2鳥海地区公開研究会,研究主題「思いや感動を生き生きと表現できる子どもの育成」
1998-10-29The Ministry of Education designates the school as a "Rural Area Research School" for 1998-1999. 10.10.29文部省より,へき地教育研究校に指定される。(H10〜Hll)
1999-10-07As part of the Ministry of Education's "Rural Area Research School" project, there is a research meeting. The meeting theme is, "Think independently; raise and teach children in a lively fashion." 11.10.7 文部省指定へき地教育公開研究会,研究主題「主体的に考え,生き生きと学ぶ子供の育成」
2000-04-01The former Hitane Junior High School building is renovated and becomes the Hitane Elementary School building. At this time, Chōkai Town's three junior high schools — Kawauchi, Hitane, and Jinego — merge to form Chōkai Junior High School.12.4.1 旧直根中学校を増改築した新校舎に移転する。
2001-04-06Group accident-prevention award received from the prefectural police's traffic safety group. 13.4.6県警及び県交通安全協会から、交通事故防止活動の功績により団体功労表彰を受ける。
2002-10-11City and Country Education Research Exchange Meeting held with the theme "Think independently; raise and teach children in a lively fashion.". 14.10.11都市へき地教育研究会交流会、研究主題「主体的に考え、生き生きと学ぶ子供の育成」。
2003-11-07Exchange program with Kotane Elementary School in Kyowa. Announced by study publication group, supported by the Dream Project. 15.11.7学習発表会で、協和町立種小学校と交流する。(ドリームプロジェクト支援事業)
2004-10-04School gates moved from old building to current one. 16.10.4校門を設置する。(旧直根小より移設)
2004-10-16"Mother and Child" bronze statue given to school by Mr. Kitaro Ito. 16.10.16ブロンズ像「母子像」を伊藤喜多郎氏(鳥海町出身)より寄贈される。
2004-11-06130 year anniversary and school presentation day. 16.11.6創立百三十年をお祝いする会・学習発表会を行う。
2005-03Release of "Yama no Ko" DVD at 130 year anniversary. 17.3創立百三十年記念文集「山の子」・DVD発行。
2005-04School designated by MEXT as part of a "plentiful experiences and activities" program for two years. 17.4文部科学省による「豊かな体験活動推進校」指定2年目を迎え各体験活動を行う。
2005-07Momoyake cooperative "Natural Ikuma Preservation School Education Cooperative" 5-year program begins for cultivation of Momoyake soba. 17.7百宅地区と協定を結び「自然生熊系の保全に関する学校教育との連携」として平成21年度までの5年間、百宅そばの栽培に取り組む。
2006-10-24Akita Prefectural Museum "Kumanoshinko Pronounced Remaining Region Elementary School Student Announcement" exhibit. Bangaku dance from Shimo-Hitane performed. 18.10.24県立博物館にて「熊野信仰の色濃く地域の小学生による発表」に出演。下直根番楽を披露。
2007-02-12All-school assistance at Winter National Biathalon Competition. Volleyball Youth Sports Club assists at an event. 19.2.12冬季国体バイアスロン競技全校応援。バレーボールスポ少児童前走をつとめる。

The current school building is not so old. It was created to house Hitane Junior High School. In 1999, Chokai Junior High School opened and Hitane Junior High School closed, so the elementary school changed from its old building (near the nursery school in Nakamura, I believe) to the current location. According to the above documentation, the school building at Nakamura was first built in 1914 and significantly renovated in 1969. As described above, there were branch schools in several locations: Momoyake, Sarukura, Kami-Hitane, and Teshirosawa. The largest and longest-lasting of these was in Momoyake, which also had a junior high school. Some of the Momoyake school buildings are still there, though they aren't used for anything these days.

Here are the lyrics to the school song.

空高き 鳥海山を
仰ぎつつ 生いたち来にし
ほこらかに 共に学ばん
山の子われら 心けだかく
雪の中 こぶし花咲き
ぶな芽ぶく 清き故郷
いきいきと 共に学ばん
山の子われら 生命光りて
澄みわたる 丘べの空に
てりはえて たてる学舎
いそしみて 共に学ばん
山の子われら 望み輝く
幸を 明日にのぞみて
新しき 世のみちびきに
たくましく 共に学ばん
山の子われら 力あわせて


When I was researching the history of Hitane Elementary School (直根小学校), I found reference to Teshirosawa Elementary School (手代沢分校), which was open from 1948 to 1961, according to the Hitane Elementary School history records. But Teshirosawa Elementary School doesn't show up on the major map websites — neither does Teshirosawa or Teshiro. The school and hamlet itself revolved around the timber industry, which apparently died off in the late 50s. After much searching, I found an old map showing the general location. Teshirosawa was located adjacent to Momoyake, a hamlet that has long since merged with Hitane. Hitane is located in Chokai, Yurihonjo.

Chokai/Teshirosawa_Map.jpg Chokai/Teshirosawa_History_1.jpg Chokai/Teshirosawa_History_2.jpg

Ms. Sumiko, a resident of Hitane, explained that Teshirosawa was a branch school with only a few students, the kids who couldn't make the walk into Momoyake Elementary School (百宅分校). The road to Teshiro starts SW of the highway's main fork in Momoyake. The school and other buildings were located just before the bridge over a small stream, and are no longer there. These days, that road leads to the Momoyake Trailhead of Mt. Chokai and is almost exclusively used by adventurous hikers, and perhaps occasionally by offroad motorcyclists. The hamlet was located around lat/long 39.101458, 140.127268.