During the late 1940's and early 1950's there were two "High Schools" in Tokyo - Meguro and Narimasu. They were part of the same school system as was YOHI and other schools within the Kanto Plains area.
Meguro was created in the early 1900's by Japan to accommodate foreigners in the Tokyo area. During WWII that school facility became a Japanese Army Intelligence Center and the "Caucasians students" (and families) who did not leave Japan prior the beginning of hostilities, were interned at Karuizawa - like those from St Joseph who were interned at Gora.
In 1946 the US Forces acquired those facilities for use by military and civilian dependents of service personnel, but primarily for the families of missionaries, embassies, and businesses in Japan. It operated under the same procedures as did YOHI. In 1952 that school reverted back to private operation by the Japanese, and was known as the American School In Japan (ASIJ). In 1963 the school moved from the Meguro community to Chofu -- a Western suburb of Tokyo.
Narimasu was an American High School - like YOHI, but included grades 7 and 8. Narimasu was a village about 15 miles North of Tokyo and located in a housing area called Grant Heights. It was built on a Kamazaze Base. The first classes began in the fall of 1948.
Alumni of both Meguro and Narimasu often remind me of the good times we all had when we met on the playing field in some sporting event. One of the first major events was the ALL JAPAN TRACK MEET which was held at the Nile Kinnick Stadium ("home of the 1st Cav" - from Camp Drake) in spring of 1948. I am reminded of the times when those schools out performed our best efforts - but we still had a lot of fun. Perhaps some of their alumni will chose to document those events here for the enjoyment of everyone - all of us need to refresh ALL of their memories - good and bad - and it might provide a great deal of enjoyment to a large number or alumni. When Narimasu High School closed down in 1971, the school was moved to Yamato High School - between Yamato Air Station and Tachikawa Air Force Base and Yokota Air Force Base. Yamato closed down in 1973 and the school was moved to Yokota where it exists today.
Major contributors of historical data contained in this page are: Geoff Smith - Meguro/Narimasu 1948, and Don Trent - Yamato High School, and Joe Pehoushek Meguro '48-'52 Narimasu '52-'54, whose letter to me on this matter is included below.
Subj: Re: MEGURO History
Date: 98-03-30 20:42:03 EST
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (JWP)
To: Jameshjim@aol.com (Jameshjim)
Sure. Glad to provide my two-bits worth on MEGURO during the Occupation era. For background purposes, I began Meguro in 1948 as a dependent of what was called a "Commercial Entrant", in the military vernacular of that era. My Dad was an employee of Northwest Airlines. We lived in Shibuya, about halfway between Meguro High School and Washington heights, the large military housing area near Harajuku station.
Meguro was, as you know, operated by the American School in Japan organization up to the beginning of the war. Operation was suspended during the war. After the end of the war, the American military took over operation of the school under the name Tokyo American School. Early on, the Superintendent of Schools was an American military officer. Teachers were hired by the military and, contrary to your statement in your write-up, the vast majority of students were military dependents. Probably 70% military. The remainder were an eclectic mix of foreign embassy, commercial business, and displaced persons dependents. The majority of military dependent students were drawn from either Washington Heights Housing area or independent military houses for field grade and up officers. Most students were transported to Meguro from their homes by a network of perhaps 20-30 military busses.
Meguro had grades seven through twelve in those years. Although class size varied over the years, 45 - 50 was the norm. Because Meguro was generally larger than the other dependent schools throughout Japan, we tended to dominate the sports activities (although I'm sure others would dispute this assertion). Annual championships, especially in basketball were BIG deals back then.
Courses taught were fairly fundamental - English, Math, History, Sciences, Languages. We had many extra-curricular activities - newspaper, yearbook, thespians, glee club, camera club, National Honor Societies, GAA, Student Council, Class Officers, Baseball, Football, Basketball and Track, along with numerous dances and parties. A major "hangout" was at the Teen-Age Club, an appendage to the Washington Heights Officers Club. Many "first loves" bloomed and wilted at that Club. Dances there every weekend were regular, invariably with live bands, often Japanese.
In the summer of 1952, the Meguro TAS was turned back over to the ASIJ organization. All military dependents transferred to Narimasu High school, located in Grant Heights, a suburb of Tokyo. The military school bus routes were re-designed. Those near Washington Heights, as mine was, were first taken to Wash. Hgts. (Yoyogi Grade School parking lot) where we transferred to another set of military busses making the long run to Narimasu. For me, the total trip was an hour and one half each way, every day.
As a dependent of a "Commercial Entrant" I was, technically, ineligible to transfer to the military school at Narimasu. However, my Mother by then had a job as a Dept. of the Army Civilian (DAC) and on that basis was admitted. I recall being concerned that Meguro, in 1952, was not then accredited by the proper U.S. organizations, and that my future admission to college might have been in jeopardy. In any event, all of the military dependents and a scattered few civilian, started going to Narimasu in the fall of 1952 - officially ending use of Meguro as an American military High School.
Today, ASIJ is a thriving, prosperous organization. The school is located now in a Tokyo suburb offering K through 12. The old building was torn down sometime in the mid 60's and the property was sold to an Insurance Company. The ASIJ Alumni organization recognizes and has enrolled hundreds of Occupation era Meguro students. In June 1997 we held a 95th re-union bash in Seattle. Plans are underway for the 100th anniversary - no doubt to be held in Tokyo in 2002.
Yours truly is Class Correspondent for the Class of '54 at ASIJ and I welcome all folks wishing to get in touch.
E-mail me at: email@example.com Check out ASIJ's Home Page (including alumni lists) at: http://www.asij.ac.jp/
Meguro '48-'52 Narimasu '52-'54
Joe in FL
See my updated home page http://www.sunline.net/joepeh/
See our Skatepark Project page: http://www.sunline.net/skate/
Updated 31 Mar 98