Dr. &a Mrs. August Karl Reischauer(1922)

Dr. & Mrs. August Karl Reischauer(1922)

NRG was founded in Tokyo in 1920 by Dr. & Mrs. August Karl Reischauer, the parents of Dr. Edwin O. Reischauer, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Professor at Harvard University. While Dr. & Mrs. Reischauer were serving as missionaries in Tokyo, their daughter Felicia lost her hearing because of high fever from pneumonia when she was only two months old. Though they were depressed, they sought help through education, and Mrs. Reischauer took her daughter back to the U.S. to put her in one of the oral schools for the deaf in Chicago. Felicia's remarkable progress in oral communication and education led her parents to think of opening an oral school for Japanese deaf children, for whom there had been no facility to teach them to speak.

With the heartfelt willing cooperation of Miss Lois F. Kramer, a missionary who had years of experience in oral education methodology as a teacher in a public school for the deaf in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. & Mrs. Reischauer were able to open NRG at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Shinjuku, Tokyo. There were only 9 students enrolled at the beginning. The fact that dumb children can speak was epoch-making, and other schools for the deaf followed the example of NRG, so that by around 1940 all the deaf schools in Japan adopted the oral method for their education.

In 1926, NRG moved to a new school building in Setagaya, Tokyo, which was built thanks to the united efforts of Presbyterians, Evangelicals and many interested people. It could accomodate one hundred pupils. During World War II, the school was placed in difficult circumstances, and for some time all the faculty and student body had to be evacuated to Nagano Prefecture to be safe from air raids. However, even in these tense times, the school made all possible efforts to keep good overseas relationships. Having opportunities to exchange greetings with the American Ambassador was one example. Miss Kramer, who had selflessly devoted herself to the education of deaf children, was interned by the Metropolitan Police, but she endured a difficult life in Japan throughout the war because of her love for the Japanese. The light Dr.& Mrs. Reischauer had turned on as the first school for the deaf was never extinguished.

Prof. Tadaoki Yamamoto, who served as principal of the school from 1933 until his death in 1951, developed its educational programs. Mr. Isao Oshima, who was the vice-principal from 1933-1950 and succeeded Mr. Yamamoto as the principal in 1951, made a great contribution to the education of the hearing-impaired; namely, the use of residual hearing, early education, parental guidance, personal interaction, and integration during the long forty-four years until his retirement in 1995. He had firm belief that God had given him this work as his mission.

To enlarge its activities and to improve its educational environment, the school moved to its present location in 1968. As it is in a western suburb of Tokyo surrounded by abundant greenery, it is quiet and free from the noises and vibrations of trains which would disturb listening through hearing-aids in the former location.

In 1990, NRG carried out large scale construction to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its founding: Reischauer Hall (used as an auditorium & gymnasium), Kramer Hall (for research & lecture), and Felicia Dormitory were built.

NRG celebrated the 80th anniversary of its founding in 2000. The number of its graduates (except for integrated children) has reached 830.

Guide to Nippon Rowa Gakko
Characteristics of Education of NRG
Courses for graduates
Q & A about NRG