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 16
Middle school 13-15 years old 15
High school 16-18 years old 25
Vocational course 19-21 years old 33
total   89
Staff Number
Teaching staff 41
Dormitory supervisors 4
Educational Research institute staff 5
Office staff 4
total 54

(as of April 2021)

(*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 former 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 Kazuhiro Ueno, Director of the Board


After Mr. Tsunenari Tokugawa, I have been appointed as the Director of the Board.
I believe it was around 1964 when Asahide Garden, established in the Tokugawa residence in Mejiro by Professor Yasumasa Miki in 1950, moved to the current location, Higashi-Oizumi. Around that time, I became the student of Professor Miki at the University of Tokyo, and started to visit Asahide Gakuen frequently, when I proceeded to graduate school in 1967.

Since then, along with Professor Miki, I have experienced the Professor’s dreams all coming true one after another, Asahide Gakuen group social welfare facilities constructed, as “a school with unceasing support even after graduation” in the name of lifelong education. I remained at Asahide Gakuen even after the Professor passed away in 1984, and stayed for 25 years until 1992.

From special education to special needs education, the educational environment surrounding students has changed significantly in the turbulent society of the 21st century. As Professor Miki often spoke about, the meaning of coexistence of private and public schools is also changing. Together with parents and teachers who are in charge of education, I would like to think together with all of you, what kind of dream Professor Miki would draw out, if he were here today.

I myself had a family member whose sibling was disabled. And that was how I first got connected with Professor Miki, and I have also experienced through my family, the honest thoughts and determination of parents with disabled children, that they feel they should be responsible to live longer than their children, and various feeling of their siblings.

As I studied and taught developmental clinical psychology, I have a strong desire to stop segregating people into two groups, the norms and the disabled, and start regarding them as connected beings, where some of them need different support and development based on their background. I also hope to share that kind of philosophy with all of you. I would like to place my last effort into creating the future of our school, together with students, parents, and teachers. Thank you.

Kazuhiko Ueno, Director of the Board

Greetings from Naomi Keino the Principal


 Since 2021, I have been appointed as the Principal. I would like to do my best to be and continue being the favorite school for children who spend their time as students and those who have graduated from here. Thank you in advance for your kind support.

 I am the principal raised by the people who are disciplined by the founder, Professor Yasumasa Miki. Our school has inherited the ideas and thoughts towards children by Professor Miki. Although it has been more than 30 years since Professor Miki passed away, yet his thoughts on education have not faded at all. Every time I hear episodes with Professor Miki from various teachers, I wish I could listen to his thoughts and ideas directly. I would like to learn and succeed the doctrine of Professor Miki from my seniors and the books he has left.

 Asahide Gakuen is a private special needs school that promotes a distinctive education.
 The three pillars of our instruction are the “Productivity Education”, in which we have students demonstrate the “Lifestyle Education” they receive through actual day-to-day life and the abilities they possess through work, boosting confidence through appropriate assessment and creating the willingness to strive towards goals as a result, as well as social participation and independence, with “Lifelong Education”.
 From kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, and vocational courses, students from 5 to 21 years old may attend the school for up to 16 years, where we work on an integrated education.
 In addition, in order for students to be able to live away from their families in the future, we have a “dormitory to facilitate independent living” where students can experience lives of dorm students for a few weeks, and other features of the school include “educational institute” where you can consult with professional speech therapists and clinical psychologists, and “alumni association Asahide Aoba-kai” supports alumni’s lives, employment, and leisure after graduation.

 Children are enrolled in school for only a very limited period of time of what is said to be 80 years of lifetime. The years that come after school are much longer. That is why I believe school life is an important period of time to lay the foundation for each and every student. The first is to be able to take care of yourself little by little and to ask for help from people around them, then to make some friends and enjoy spending time with them of similar age, more than the adults. While being inspired by friends, they can learn what they are good at and what they aren’t, and by developing their strong characters, we can think about their way forward the future. I believe the school should be the place to provide necessary learning or to create the place for such learning according to the development of each student. Although the speed of learning for each student is different, everyone who has spend their time at Asahide has lived their own school life and moved onto a new stage.

 We sincerely take the messages from students, and work hard together with the faculty and parents so our children can go on to a happy life.
 If you are interested in our school, please come and visit us at any time for a tour and /or consultation. We look forward to your visit.

Naomi Keino, 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