Konan Tsujimoto built the Kyoto Commercial High School in 1925 (the predecessor of the current Kyoto Gakuen High School). His founding philosophy was global in nature:
“To bring out true Japanese virtues and values that are in conformity with independant thinking and to mould individuals with global viewpoints.”
How appropriate is it that the Kyoto Gakuen High School students carry his last name as their own on the PacRimX Island? His educational philosophy goes deeper into culture and his education in the United States:
“It may be worth writing in length about the education philosophy of the school that was set down by the founder Konan Tsujimoto. As a young student in the United States at the end of 19th century he pondered deeply about Japan’s struggle to reach out to the world after several centuries of self-imposed isolation. What he did not approve of was the indiscriminate adaptation and imitation of western culture and civilization by the Japanese. Konan Tsujimoto seriously questioned the virtues of such tendencies which he considered blind admiration and not genuine appreciation and respect. The question lingering in his mind was whether Japanese would ever be able to command the respect of the world community without deep understanding of their own culture. His single minded devotion was then to raise Japanese with the true Japanese spirit. Yet, the same people he thought, would be able to interact with other people in the world on equal footing, on the principles of mutual understanding and benefit, without the arrogance of superiority or the clumsiness of inferiority. The foundation of Kyoto Commercial High School (the predecessor of present Kyoto Gakuen High School) in 1925 was the fruit of such thoughts by Konan Tsujimoto who said: “Education consists of building fine characters” ”
The Pacific Rim Exchange project will allow students from both the US and Japan to share in their cultures, learn from each other, and build lasting friendships that will extend into “real life” with their ultimate visit to their host country as part of the foreign exchange program.