The Lycée Seijo d'Alsace (アルザス成城学園 Aruzasu Seijō Gakuen) was a Japanese boarding high school in Kientzheim (now a part of Kaysersberg-Vignoble), Haut-Rhin, in the Alsace region of France, near Colmar. It was operated by Seijo Gakuen, an educational society affiliated with Seijo University, and therefore was an overseas branch of a Japanese private school, or a Shiritsu zaigai kyoiku shisetsu (私立在外教育施設).
In the 1980s officials in the Alsace region sent an invitation for a Japanese school to establish itself there as a way of attracting Japanese companies to establish operations in the region. The director of the Alsace Development Agency, Andre Klein, received contacts from several Japanese educational institutions after he had asked a Nihon Keizai Shimbun reporter to write an article about a possible site for an overseas Japanese boarding school: a former convent in Kientzheim. Seijo Gakuen, the organization controlling Seijo University, accepted the offer. It wanted to establish a Japanese school in 1987 to celebrate its 70th anniversary. In 1984 negotiations to establish the school finished successfully.
In 1990 and 1991 the school had 180 students in grades 7 through 12. The school's enrollment declined due to a declining Japanese birthrate and a decreased economic presence of Japanese companies in France, due to the recession in Japan. On Friday February 11, 2005 the school held its final graduation ceremony, with 13 students graduating. In the school's history a total of 556 students had graduated. The European Centre for Japanese Studies in Alsace (French: Centre européen d'études japonaises, CEEJA, Japanese: アルザス・欧州日本学研究所 Aruzasu Ōshū Nihongaku Kenkyūsho) opened at the site of the former school.
During the school's lifetime, according to the Western Society for French History, the "core" of the student body consisted of children of executives working for offices of Japanese multinational companies such as Sharp Corporation and Sony in the Alsace region. In addition, some students were from Japanese families living in Paris. Other students' families lived in other places including Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, other areas in Europe, Africa, and Australia. Some students' families lived in Japan, and the families sent them to Lycée Seijo to gain experience living outside Japan. Some students' families lived elsewhere in Asia. As of 1990, about 66% of the students had families resident outside Japan while the remainder had families resident in Japan.
All of the students lived in the school dormitories. Karl Schoenberger of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the Seijo students "on the whole" were "isolated" at the school even though during athletic meetings they had some interaction with French children.
Extracurricular activities and community relations
Because the school, with about 200 Japanese students and teachers at the time of opening, was located in a community of 800, the school leadership took steps to develop good relationships with the host community. Therefore the school asked its students to participate in the marathon sponsored by the village and the school held "open house" days for the local community.
French international schools in Japan:
- Home page" ().Lycée Seijo. Retrieved on 2 January 2014. "8, route d'Ammerschwihr, 68240 KIENTZHEIM, FRANCE"
- "Seijo Gakuen closes French campus." (archived from the original) The Japan Times. Sunday February 13, 2005. Retrieved on 2 January 2013. "Former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, a graduate of Seijo Gakuen, said in a speech at the ceremony that he truly regrets the closure. Hata was accompanied by his second eldest son, who was one of the school's first graduates."
- "過去に指定・認定していた在外教育施設" (Archive). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved on March 1, 2015.
- Iwasaki, Toshio. "Japanese Schools Take Root Overseas." Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry. Japan Economic Foundation (JEF, Kokusai Keizai Kōryū Zaidan), No. 5, 1991. Contributed to Google Books by the JEF. p. 24. "The buildings are genuine Japanese junior and senior high schools, operated by Lycee Seijo d'Alsace. There are 180 Japanese boys and girls who attend classes from seventh to 12th grade. Lycee Seijo d'Alsace was founded in 1986 by Seijo Gakuen, a well-known Japanese educational foundation operating schools from kindergarten to university in Tokyo. The students come from homes not only in Alsace-but also from Germany, Italy and almost all parts of Europe, the Soviet Union, Africa, Asia and even from Japan as well. ·They all live in school dormitories."
- Schoenberger, Karl. "COLUMN ONE : 'Japaning' of Europe at Full Tilt : Companies rush for a foothold before the 1992 integration of the European Community. Alsace is a case in point." Los Angeles Times. August 2, 1990. p. 2. Retrieved on January 9, 2015.
- Schoenberger, Karl. "COLUMN ONE : 'Japaning' of Europe at Full Tilt : Companies rush for a foothold before the 1992 integration of the European Community. Alsace is a case in point." Los Angeles Times. August 2, 1990. p. 3. Retrieved on January 9, 2015.
- The Bulletin, Volume 108. J. Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1986. p. 143. "An Outpost Deep in Alsace Principal Jokichi Moroga is eating soggy noodles in the school cafeteria at Lycee Seijo Gakuen, and he doesn't exactly seem enthusiastic about it. "This is the first time our French cooks have made these," explains[...]" - Preview page appears blank but you will see the page if you put the quotes in the Google Books search
- "Du lycée Seijo au Centre d’études japonaises." (Archive) L'Alsace. 19 March 2013. Retrieved on 2 January 2014. "L’ancien lycée Seijo, à Kientzheim, a accueilli des élèves japonais entre les années 1980 et 2006. On y trouve aujourd’hui le Centre européen d’études japonaises." and "Le lycée Seijo a compté jusqu’à 200 élèves vers 1990. Il a fermé ses portes en 2006, suite au déclin progressif de la présence nippone."
- Western Society for French History. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western Society for French History, Volume 18. New Mexico State University Press, 1990. p. 486. "In Alsace, no fewer than seven major Japanese-based multinationals, including Sony and Sharp, have moved in, and the children of their executives form the core of the 180-strong student body of the Lycée Seijo, the European branch, opened in 1986, of a highly selective private secondary school in Tokyo." - If the words are inputted into Google Books you will see the page
- Conte-Helm, Marie. The Japanese and Europe: Economic and Cultural Encounters (Bloomsbury Academic Collections). A&C Black, December 17, 2013. ISBN 1780939809, 9781780939803., p. 85.
- Iwasaki, Toshio. "Japanese Schools Take Root Overseas." Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry. Japan Economic Foundation (JEF, Kokusai Keizai Kōryū Zaidan), No. 5, 1991. Contributed to Google Books by the JEF. p. 25. "In the case of Lycee Seijo d'Alsace, a total of 200 Japanese teachers and students descended on a village with a population of 800. Thus, the school is making all-out efforts to foster a sense of harmony with the villagers,[...]"
- "Kientzheim, l'Ecole des Cracks" (Archive). Le Nouvel Observateur, Issues 1248-1260. 1988. p. 15. "C'est ici qu'en 1985 s'est ouvert le lycée Seijo, pour les enfants de la diaspora japonaise. Les 20000 mètres carrés de l'école du SacréCœur menaçaient de tomber en ruine, faute de bonnes sœurs. Le département et André Klein, directeur du[...]"
- "Les crécelles de Seijo." (Archive) L'Alsace. Tuesday 8 June 1999.
- "Seijo fête la rentrée." (Archive) Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA). Sunday 18 April 1999.
- "La rentrée au lycée Seijo." (Archive) L'Alsace. Sunday 18 April 1999.
- "Seijo ouvre ses portes." (Archive) L'Alsace. Sunday 7 November 1999.
- (in Japanese) Nakatani, Keiko (中谷 圭子 Nakatani Keiko) (アルザス成城学園前校長). "The History of Lycee Seijo d'Alsace : from 1998 to closing" (アルザス成城学園の歴史 : 1998年から閉校まで). Annual reports, Seijo Gakuen Education Institute (Seijo University) 30, 1-58, 2008-03. See profile at CiNii
- (in Japanese) Tanabe, Kan (田辺 幹 Tanabe Kan), Haruo Shinkai (新海 治夫 Shinkai Haruo), and Shinichi Nakazawa (中沢 慎一 Nakazawa Shin'ichi) (all staff of Lycée Seijo). "A Cooperative Study English Teaching at Lycee seijo d'Alsace" (<共同研究>アルザス成城学園における英語教育). Annual reports, Seijo Gakuen Education Institute (Seijo University) 18, 176-210, 1996-03. See profile at CiNii.
- Gauthier, Nicole. "Les entreprises japonaises s'épanouissent en Alsace" (Archive). Libération. 9 July 2001.
- Lycée Seijo (in Japanese) (2003-2006)
- Lycée Seijo (in Japanese) (2001-2003)
- Lycée Seijo (in Japanese) (2000)
- Lycée Seijo (in French) - Index of newspaper articles
- Lycée Seijo (in Japanese) (???)
- European Centre for Japanese Studies in Alsace
- "アルザス成城学園中等部・高等部卒業生の皆様へ" (Archive). Seijo Gakuen.