Asahide Gakuen

Special education school for children with special needs

About our school

Founded by Masako Tokugawa and Yasumasa Miki in 1950 within the Tokugawa Residence* in Mejiro, Tokyo, Asahide Gakuen has worked together with parents, guardians and many other supporters for the sake of children with delayed intellectual development.

While it was a small academy with only 14 children when it first opened, the school was incorporated in 1960 and then moved to Nerima, Tokyo, and currently has a kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school programs as well as vocational courses. Based on a consistent educational philosophy, an individualized educational program is created for each student according to their stage of development and personality, and educational activities are conducted to bring out the child’s capabilities and cultivate social and life skill.

Courses Age Number of Students
Elementary school 6-12 years old 18
Middle school 13-15 years old 17
High school 16-18 years old 22
Vocational course 19-21 years old 33
total   90
Staff Number
Teaching staff 42
Dormitory supervisors 3
Educational Research institute staff 4
Office staff 4
total 53

(as of October 2020)

(*Note) The Tokugawa family, founded by Ieyasu Tokugawa, became the shogunate in Edo(Tokyo) in 1603, ruling Japan for more 260years over 15 generations as the great unifying leaders. Tsunenari Tokugawa, the chairman of Asahide Gakuen, is the 18th generation head of the Tokugawa family.

Our Mission


Our mission is to foster “individuals who are able to live a rich life with the awareness of a productive individual”.

At our school, “becoming aware that we are working towards a goal” is called “productive awareness” and it is our ultimate educational goal to raise such individuals.

  • 1.Individuals who can do things by themselves
  • 2.Individuals who can enjoy working with others
  • 3.Individuals who understand the joy and importance of working and are motivated to work
  • 4.Individuals who can think, make decisions, and live by themselves
  • 5.Individuals who can live a healthy life
  • 6.Individuals who can fully demonstrate his or her own capabilities and live a purposeful life

Our view


The late Yasumasa Miki (Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo), one of the founders of Asahide Gakuen, said: “People have established advanced civilizations over a long history. This is due to the fact that highly talented people have been active in their respective fields, and at the same time, it has been achieved with the support of the masses. As human beings are the most developed organisms, we have great individual differences. As well as talented individuals who are at the forefront of progress, we must not forget the existence of those who are weak, such as disabled children. A truly civilized society is one where all people, disabled or not, can lead a happy life.”

Currently, in our increasingly diverse society, it is an important issue to achieve a “symbiotic society” in which everyone respects and supports each other’s personality and individuality, and recognizes the diversity of people. Aiming for a society in which people with disabilities can maximize their abilities and find a purpose in life, we continue to corporate and work with local communities as part of our educational approach.

Greetings from the Principal


Our school offers its own unique form of education as a private special needs school. Our teaching is based on the following three pillars: (1) Life Education – Enabling our pupils to become able to live their life through experiencing actual daily life. (2) Production Education – Developing self-confidence in our pupils by making full use of their abilities in undertaking work and receiving appropriate feedback, and as a result, our pupils are encouraged to strive toward goals in everything they do. (3) Lifelong Education – Supporting lifelong learning with the aim of social participation and independence.

Furthermore, features of our school include the following: (1) We have established a kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, and vocational course, meaning that our pupils can be enrolled for up to 17 years from 5 to 21 years old and receive consistent education. (2) Assuming life in a group home in the future, we have established a dormitory where our pupils can learn what it is like to live independently through a maximum 6-week long experience in the second year of high school and the second year of vocational school. (3) We have an educational institute where one can receive guidance and consultation from professional staff who are clinical psychologists and speech therapists. (4) We offer life-long support by supporting the lifestyles, employment, and leisure of our pupils after graduation through the alumni association ‘Asahide Aoba-Kai’.

While learning with the children at this school, I think of ‘educating’ is the following way: enabling children to independently engage in things that interest them, having children acquire new knowledge through various experiences and learning, and having them utilize this knowledge to develop into someone who can adapt to society. I believe that it is necessary for staff to put themselves in the children’s shoes to provide hints for learning, beginning with what the child find challenging, in an easy-to-understand manner to help them succeed in new areas, and to repeat the cycle of practice and research for the benefit of the children. Building on experiences with small achievements will lead to greater self-confidence, and eventually our pupils will spread their wings to transaction from school to society and show their full potential.

Kaoru Okada, Principal

Address inquiries to the school to :

Asahide Gakuen Special Needs School
Address:7-12-16 Higashioizumi, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 178-0063
Support for telephone inquiries in available in Japanese only. Please send email inquiries in English or Japanese here


Asahide Gakuen Education Research Institute

Based on the concept that “good educational practice is born from good educational research, and good educational research is obtained from good educational practice”, the Asahide Gakuen Education Research Institute was set up in 1960 in the grounds of Asahide Gakuen with the support of Ms. Najar, the wife of Israel Ambassador to Japan, who was deeply interested in the issue of children with intellectual disabilities, and the Japan-Israel Women’s Welfare Organization (JIWWO). The Research Institute has been providing psychological assessment, remedial teaching, and consultation for children with special needs both inside and outside the school. The Research Institute has developed psychological tests such as the S-M Social Maturity Scale and the ASA Asahide Social Adaptive skills scale, and published Japanese version of materials for Makaton, which is a method for developing language and communication skill (See homepage below). As a specialized institution in the region, our clinical psychologists and speech therapists are on hand to provide guidance and consultations, and to conduct psychological and language assessment.
(* Makaton )

Address inquiries to research Institute to:

Education Research Institute at Asahide Gakuen Special Needs School
Address:7-12-16 Higashioizumi, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 178-0063