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School Mottos

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The three mottos of our school have been observed since the school was founded.

1.       To have righteous relationships with family and society, contributing to world peace and the happiness of mankind with respect to Japanese history and tradition

To have better ethics and clear Taigi            

①This first motto is based on the first pillar of Saniku intellectual training (Saniku means three types educational training: ethical training, physical training and intellectual training). Ethics here means the order that exists in mutual relationships and the path of virtue. In other words, ethics means appropriate relationships in society and family between parents and children, siblings, couples, and friends.

Taigi here means the respect of national dignity and the relationship between sovereign and subjects. If you look at this first motto historically, you'll find it to be based on Confucian ethics, especially Neo-Confucianism, with an infusion of Japanese ideology. The reason why this motto describes these relationships is that it is exactly the same as the education policy of the nation which was established in the middle of the Meiji period. This policy was influenced by Preparatory Education (a textbook on morals written in 1882 by Nagasane Motoda who was born in Kumamoto and became a tutor for the Meiji Empire) and The Imperial Prescript on Education which was issued in 1890.

③It reflects the theory of national sovereignty and the nationalist thoughts which were starting to break out in popularity in response to the Japanese liberal utilitarian education policy, westernized diplomacy, and the freedom and popular rights movement that had started during the Meiji restoration and had taken an extreme turn.

④In particular, Taigi expresses respect for the nation's dignity based on the Mito school of study. This teaches devotion to one's parents, devotion to the sovereign and patriotism (in other words emperor-centric thought).

⑤At that time it was created, there was confusion with ideology. Japan was incurring diplomatic and economic disadvantages from signing unequal treaties, and was exposed to the invasion of imperialist ideas from counties where capitalism had advanced. Therefore, this concept was in fact natural for Seiseiko High School in order to raise talented people for the county.

⑥However, it is necessary to add contemporary explanations to understand Taigi since there have been dramatic changes in the conditions in Japan, for example in daily life, culture, ideology and so on; the "Meiji constitution" absolutism is gone and Japan now has the "Showa constitution" founded on democracy and pacifism. Moreover, the position of the emperor has shifted from a supreme ruler to a figurehead.

⑦The original meaning of Taigi is "great reason and great obligation for all", so the duty is not necessarily limited to the relationship between sovereign and servant.

⑧Even though the conditions of the country have changed, we will always be Japanese, and we still sustain a secure position in international society. Therefore a modern interpretation of this motto would be that we need to have confidence in being Japanese, love the emperor, respect the history of Japanese tribes and tradition, love our grandparents, protect our friends, be willing to value good faith between nations, and contribute to world peace and human happiness with a spirit of love.

           

 

2.       To hold honor and be full of vitality, based on Bushido spirit

①This second motto is based on the Saniku pillar of physical training. "Honor" here means to have a pure heart and be strong enough to know a sense of shame. To know shame is regarded as a traditional virtue. The original meaning of "Vitality" is spirit or courage which leads to activity.

②Reckless, rough courage is not true courage. True courage is to act furiously with your body and soul when you must, and being able to firmly refuse to do something which you should not do. True courage is born when you evaluate your sense of shame. As the saying goes, "even if 10 million people tell you to do something, think for yourself. If you think it is not right, don't listen to them, having faith in your decision." Looking at it historically, this idea is adapted from Bushido spirit.

③On the other hand, since this school was established, physical training was as highly  valued as ethical training and intellectual training to teach a spirit of simplicity and fortitude. In 1883, the teacher Mr. Sasa cooperated with volunteers who were from Kumamoto and established Shinbu-kai. In its rules, they added that one should train based on respect for one's parents and sovereign, and value politeness and a sense of shame.

 ④Koubusho, a building to have lectures about training was established north adjacent to Seiseiko High School. This revived swordsmanship and classic forms of martial arts that weren't practiced during the Meiji Restoration. According to Seiseiko History, Saniku cannot succeed until one can hear the sounds of being trained in martial arts and reading textbooks at the same time.

 ⑤The Seiseiko Rules written in 1885 say that every first Monday, students need to go on an excursion of more than 20km. But they need to go swimming in summer and do activities like hunting rabbits in winter instead.

Moreover, an extracurricular school for academic study and physical training was established, based on the Seiseiko Rules where it is written that "Morale should be raised by encouraging students to have better health and ethics outside of school."

 ⑥Furthermore, the Seiseiko spirit cannot be explained without mentioning anti-conventionalism. Mr. Sasa established Doshin School by standing up bravely against chaotic social trends and the tendency toward superficiality, saying "as is often said, even if there is little we can do, we should stand up against society with the strong resolution to revive the traditional point of view somehow." It can be said that the founder himself became a true example of having a pure heart and being strong enough to know a sense of shame.

 

 

3.       To have enthusiasm for scholarship and be internationally minded

①This third motto is based on the pillar of intellectual training. As a school motto, you might think it is obvious, however it shows the spirit of being excellent both academically and in sports as is also demonstrated in the second motto. According to Mr. Sasa, intellectual training contains deep meaning for Saniku education just like ethical training and physical training.

 ②Historically speaking, this reflects the development of society at the beginning of the Meiji period. The Imperial Covenant Consisting of Five Articles says "Seek knowledge throughout the world and rouse up the basis of Empire." It shows the government was working together with the private sector with a desire to learn and absorb western culture at that time.

 ③The Seiseiko Rules, a course of study which was revised many times, proves the fact that Seiseiko High School put a lot of effort into intellectual training. Thanks to the training, many graduates have made a considerable contribution to many various fields such as politics, economics, the arts, academics, and athletics.

 In March 1883, Seiseiko unified twelve private schools, created the Unified School Rules Book, and implemented two big examinations taken by more than 1000 students in spring and fall. Immediately after on May 21st, Seiseiko received money from the Department of the Imperial Household. That is due to none other than the fact the Seiseiko's educational spirit was widely acknowledged.

 ⑤People who take the stance of leaning under these three mottos cultivate a sense of morals, train their body, and regenerate vitality. At the same time, in conformity with the third motto, it is important to have sophisticated knowledge, endeavor to build a cultural nation, and be ready to contribute to world peace and the welfare of humanity.