Otaru School for the Deaf in Hokkaido holds closure ceremony

The students sing a song in sign language at the closing ceremony.
(photo: http://www.hokkaido-np.co.jp/)

November 03, 2013

Another school will end its history following the Kushiro School for the Deaf in Hokkaido, Japan's northern island as previously posted. The Otaru School which will be closed at the end of March, 2014 held a closing ceremony on November 2, About 240 alumni,  former teachers and others were present.

Kobayashi Unpei (小林運平) from Odate-shi, Akita Prefecture, who was an elementary school teacher, responded the request of parents by tutoring their deaf-mute children in his room.

Then, he founded the private Otaru School for the Blind and Dumb in 1906 (Meiji 39) in Otaru-shi, and was in charge of management as the first principal.

Currently seven students attend. The number of students ten or less  continues after the 2007 fiscal year although about 670 students have so far graduated. Consequently it was decided in the fall, 2012 that the school would be closed.

Japanese sources:

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