日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

Hokusei Gakuen: Founded by women missionaries on the frontier of Japan


Hokusei Gakuen remembers three U.S. missionaries, in particular, as women who gave completely of themselves for the establishment of the school. Hokusei Gakuen was founded by Sarah C. Smith, who established the educational principles of the school. Following Smith, Alice M. Monk brought further development through her leadership and innovation. After World War II, Elizabeth M. Evans led the school through its transition to the newly developed national educational system. Through the work of these missionaries, Hokusei Gakuen was founded and nurtured.
Sarah C. Smith
Hokusei Gakuen is located in Sapporo, on the island of Hokkaido. Nowadays, Sapporo is called the greatest city north of Tokyo. Sarah C. Smith was assigned to Tokyo in 1880 by the Association of Presbyterian Mission International. Three years later she became ill due to the Tokyo climate and moved to Sapporo, where the climate was similar to her place of origin in New York State. She recovered within several months and remained in Sapporo to further the mission work there. She asked the mission board in her hometown for support to establish a school for girls. However, around 1880, Sapporo was still a frontier, having just been opened for development, so the board decided that it was not a suitable area to establish such a school. As the mission board determined that there was little hope of success and provided no financial support, she waited for another opportunity and moved on to Hakodate, which was a more advanced city in Hokkaido at that time.
In December 1886, Smith was invited to teach English at the Public Teacher's College of Sapporo. She accepted the position and planned to open her own school at the same time. She had gained support from people in local government as well as from the business and academic circles. As the result, she was able to open a school for girls in 1887 without the permission of her home mission board. For nearly two years, she completely supported the school through her own efforts. Afterwards, the mission board recognized her strong commitment and began supporting her.
In 1894, Smith's School for Women was renamed Hokusei Girls' School. The word hokusei (north star) is taken from Philippines 2:15, "Shine like stars in a dark world." Through her dedicated work in establishing the school and carrying out its educational goals, Smith left a lasting impression on her students as she shared life with them in personal ways and overcame scarcity to serve them. Overturning a forecast of "little hope of success" and defying multiple difficulties, she built a solid foundation for the school. Smith returned to America in 1931, when she was 80 years old, bringing to a close 50 years of service in Japan. During that time she had brought women's education to the frontier of Japan and spread the gospel of Christ. She had worked tirelessly to raise the level of education, culture, and morality. At her last worship service, she read the words from Romans 15:3: "For even Christ did not please himself." (NIV) These words provide a condensed summary of Smith's lifestyle.
Alice M. Monk
After working for almost 20 years following the founding of the school, Smith became concerned about the lack of missionaries, as she was hoping to find someone she could trust to follow her. In November 1905, Alice M. Monk came to Hokusei Girls' School. Although an effort was made by Joshigakuin in Tokyo to have Monk teach at that school, she chose instead to teach at Hokusei, where conditions were less than favorable. This was when she was 33 years old, just one year after her arrival in Japan. Monk helped consolidate the educational program and worked for its expansion as well. Monk became principal in 1915, and in the same year the school was recognized by the Ministry of Education. A new site for the school was obtained in 1924; a dormitory and a missionary house were built in 1926. Then in 1929, a modern three-story frame building was completed. Today this is the site of the junior and senior high school. In 1989, as a part of the centennial celebration, the missionary house was restored to its original state. In 1998, it was registered as "tangible cultural property."
Intending to dedicate her entire life to Hokusei, Monk made plans to remain in Sapporo for the duration of her life. However, history's timing did not allow it. U.S. missionaries were told by the Japanese government to return to their country, and on August 15, 1941, Monk left Sapporo. When she returned to the U.S. she became ill and, following years of poor health, died in Washington State in 1952. She was never able to return to Sapporo.
Elizabeth M. Evans
Elizabeth Evans arrived in Hokusei in October 1911 when she was 25 years old. She came only six years after Monk, but because of the brilliance of both Smith and Monk, her distinguished service was not as noticeable. However, when Evans arrived at Hokuriku, Smith's health was not good, and because Monk assumed most of the administrative work, Evans took over much of the teaching and direct contact with the students.
In 1941, two months before all U.S. missionaries left Japan, Evans had returned for a furlough and was forced to stay in the U.S.. The war ended in 1945, and in 1946 the school was renamed Hokusei Gakuen. However, it was a mission school without missionaries. The school asked the six missionaries who had served before the war to return. In 1947, Evans answered the call. Although the war had kept her away, she returned to embody the spirit and tradition she had received directly from Smith and Monk. Evans played a major role in the restoration of the school following the war, and was named the first president of the Women's Junior College that was established in 1951. She reached retirement age six months later and returned to the U.S. in September 1951.
Evans died in Minneapolis in February 1972 at the age of 86. In accordance with her will, one-third of her estate was given to Hokusei Gakuen. This inheritance is the endowment for the Smith/Monk/ Evans Scholarships that continue to be used to help students. (Tr. JS)
--Kimura Ikumi,
Planning and Public Relations Office
Hokusei Gakuen
学校法人北星学園  「日本初期における女性宣教師の働き」原稿
 北星学園は、Sarah(サラ) C(C).Smith(スミス)が創設し教育の基盤を築き、後継者Alice(アリス) M(M).Monk(モンク)の学校改革により発展をみた。さらに、Elizabeth(エリザベス) M(M).Evans(エバンズ)が戦後の新体制を牽引し、今日の北星学園が導かれた。 3人の宣教師は自らのすべてを北星学園のために注いだ宣教師として、本学園の記憶に留められる。
"Sarah(サラ) C(C).Smith(スミス)"
 北星学園は、東京以北最大の都市と呼ばれる北海道札幌市に在る。Sarah C.Smith は1880年に東京に赴任したが、来日3年後に気候が合わず病にかかり、故郷によく似た気候の札幌に転地した。数ヵ月後に健康を回復したスミスは、そのまま札幌で宣教活動を続けることを決意し、伝道協会に決意と学校設立についての理解と協力を求めたが、当時の札幌は開拓途上にあり、低文化の女子教育後進地であったため、伝道協会はこの事業を「実現不可能」と判断し活動を許可しなかった。それゆえスミスは、止むを得ず北海道の先進地であった函館に留まり、宣教活動の傍ら機会を待った。
 1894年、スミス女学校は「北星女学校」と改名した。"Shine like stars in a dark world"「世にあって星のように輝く」(聖句:フィリピの信徒への手紙2章15節)が、「北星」の由来である。
"Alice(アリス) M(M).Monk(モンク)"
 開校後約20年近い労苦を重ねたスミスは、宣教師の不足に悩み、信頼に足るべき後継者を望んでいた。1905年11月、人望も極めて厚い教育者Alice (アリス)M(M).Monk(モンク)が、東京の女子学院の引き止め運動にも係らず、条件の悪い北星女学校に着任したのは、来日1年後、33歳のときであった。着任後、モンクは、一層教育内容を整備し学校形態を拡充することに努めた。1915年に校長に就任し、懸案となっていた北星女学校の文部省認可の取得、 1924年に新校地を確保した。1926年に寄宿舎、宣教師館を竣工し、1929年には木造三階建てのモダンな新校舎を竣工した。現在、校地は北星学園女子中学高等学校に受け継がれ、1989年に開学100周年を記念し復元された宣教師館は、1998年に国の「登録有形文化財」に指定されている。
"Elizabeth(エリザベス) M(M).Evans(エヴァンズ)"
  Elizabeth(エリザベス) M(M).Evans(エヴァンズ)は1911年10月、25歳のとき北星女学校に教師として着任した。モンクに遅れること6年後の着任であったが、スミスとモンクという輝かしい先駆者の中にあって、エヴァンズの功績は目立たない。しかし、エヴァンズが着任した頃、スミスの体調は思わしくなく、学校の管理はモンクに委ねられており、スミスの教育精神を受け継いで生徒への直接的な指導を助けたのはエヴァンズであった。
 1941年、全ての宣教師がアメリカ本国に帰国する約2ヶ月前に一時休暇を取得してエヴァンズは帰国していたが、そのまま留まらざるを得なかった。 1945年に終戦を迎え、再出発を期していた学校は、1946年に財団法人北星学園として改めて始動するものの、北星女学校は宣教師のいないミッションスクールになっていた。北星学園は、アメリカに帰国した6名の宣教師たちに復職を要請していたが、1947年に要請に応えたエヴァンズが帰ってきた。エヴァンズの重要な役目は戦争によって途切れたが、スミス、モンクの教育の精神と伝統を再現することによって、ミッションスクールとしての断絶を埋めたのである。
学校法人北星学園 企画広報課 教学係  木村いくみ(起草)

Kyodan News
〒169-0051 東京都新宿区西早稲田2-3-18-31
Copyright (c) 2007-2022
The United Church of Christ in Japan