History

Nishimachi International School was established in 1949 by the late Tané Matsukata on the family property in the Azabu area of Tokyo. She had recently returned to Japan after seventeen years in the United States, where she received her education and spent the war years.

Miss Matsukata found Tokyo still badly scarred from the war while the slow process of rebuilding had begun. It was apparent to her that there was moral rebuilding to be done as well. In discussions with friends, who were mothers, she began to realize the important role that education would play in the reconstruction process. Together the ladies explored the alternatives and concluded that a new approach other than traditional education was needed, one that stressed the human side of learning and had peaceful coexistence with others as an objective.

Accordingly, Miss Matsukata and her friends decided to start their own school, along the lines of the progressive academy Miss Matsukata's mother had established for her and her siblings in the years before the war.

Learning a second language, in this case English, was step one in the educational process. The founders saw this as fundamental to extending the children's understanding beyond the boundaries of their own culture and into other cultures.

Tané Matsukata and her sister undertook the English portion of the curriculum. They hired a teacher for Japanese, and the school that was eventually to become Nishimachi opened its doors to its first four students in 1949.

 

MILESTONES

1948 ~ Present

1948
• Tané Matsukata returns to Japan after 17 years in the United States

1949
• Classes begin for four students in the Murata home with three teachers
• Nishimachi School is founded and formalized by the Minato-ku Government

1951
First school building is completed

1953
• First elementary graduation takes place

1955
• Nishimachi School is recognized as Gakko Hojin by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government

1956
• Primary language of instruction becomes English
• Japanese classes begin with two Japanese students

1958
• Kindergarten is added

1962
• Japanese-language studies become a requirement for all students

1963
• Junior high begins with grade seven; grade eight is added in 1964; and grade nine in 1965

1965
• Matsukata House reverts to the Matsukata family from the Venezuelan government
• First edition of Ayumi (school yearbook) is published by grade eight students
• Junior high is relocated to Matsukata House

1966
• School name is changed to Nishimachi International School
• First junior high (grade nine) graduation takes place
• Tradition of annual ski trips begins
• First Food Fair is held

1968
• Student Council (StuCo) is established

1970
• First edition of Nishimachi newspaper CHIHEISEN is published by grade seven and eight students
• Camp Rioichiro Arai is dedicated at Kazuno, Gunma-ken

1973
• First Japanese program and speech contest are held

1975
• 25th anniversary is celebrated CHIHEISEN article

1979
• Alumni group holds surprise 30th anniversary party for Miss Matsukata (read secret invitation)

1980
• Tomo no Kai (parent association) is formed
• First issue of The Internationalist is published

1984
• 35th anniversary is celebrated (CHIHEISEN article)
CHIHEISEN celebrates 100th edition

1985
• Phase I building (Ushiba Memorial Gymnasium) is completed

1986
• Nishimachi is accredited by WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)
• Phase II building (primary building) is completed

1989
• Founder, Tané Matsukata, passes away
• Tané Matsukata Fund for International Education (scholarship fund) is established
• 40th anniversary is celebrated in honour of Tané Matsukata (The Internationalist article)

1990
• New lodge at Camp Rioichiro Arai is completed

1991
• Nishimachi-Kai (alumni association) is formed

1993
• Japanese presentation program replaces Japanese speech contest

1994
• Sister school ties with Kurohone elementary and junior high school are formalized

1997
• Phase III building (upper elementary and junior high building) is inaugurated

1999
• WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) self-study is completed and six-year accreditation awarded
• 50th anniversary celebrations are held over three days (The Internationalist article)

2000
• Middle school program replaces junior high school

2001
• ERB standardized testing begins
• Nishimachi builds and supports Kirivorn School in Cambodia

2002
• Kindergarten is relocated to the Moto Azabu Hills complex

2003
• Outreach Scholarship Program for Student Diversity is established

2004
• Tokutei Koeki Zoshin Hojin (Special Public Interest Promotion Organization) status is granted by Tokyo Metropolitan Government

2006
• WASC (Western Association of School and Colleges) and CIS (Council of International Schools) ten-year joint accreditation is awarded

2007
• Phase IV building (Yashiro Media Center) is inaugurated
• Multi-purpose area, under the gym, is renovated

2009
• Reinforcement work of the Matsukata House is completed
• Enhanced art program of music, performing arts, visual arts, is implemented for both middle school and elementary school

2011
• The Great East Japan Earthquake hits Tohoku area Nishimachi relief projects are conducted
Renovation of Farm House at Camp Rioichiro Arai is completed

2015
• 65th anniversary is celebrated

2016
• CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of School and Colleges) ten-year joint accreditation is awarded