Community missing Takae junior high school closing after 68 years
February 8, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo
Takae Junior High School in Higashi village held a closing ceremony to farewell the community after 68 years on February 4. Approximately 150 people including current students, alumni, and local residents gathered for the closing of the school. The Takae Junior High Shool will be merged into Higashi and Arime Junior High School to establish Higashi Junior High School in this April.
During the ceremony, two grade eight students, Ishihara and Morioka gave a speech as student representatives and shared their memories at the school.
Ishihara spoke in tears, “Our senior students have established the school’s history even though our school is located in harsh conditions. As I came to accept that the school is really ending, I couldn’t help missing the school in my heart.”
Morioka kept her head up, “The time that I spent with you all at the school is my precious treasure. I hope our home Takae will continue to strive for a bright future.”
Many alumni also visited the ceremony. A 57-year old alumna Chieko Oshiro reflected, “There was no pool or gymnasium when I was a student, and we would play volleyball in the field while getting scratches all over our bodies. I will miss these times and the school, but I think students will still grow up well.”
The principle Hirofumi Chinen encouraged the students, saying; “Our alumni are building achievements in many different fields. Please keep your pride and enjoy your new school life.”
There was also an appreciation party held after the closing ceremony, and school children and local residents entertained gathered people with performances like Kagiyade-fu dance and eisa. Takae Jr. High was established in 1948. The number of enrolled students started to decline after Okinawa’s reversion to Japan in 1972, and there is only three students currently enrolled. 284 students have graduated from the school since its establishment.
(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)
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