Visit to the former Shiga Elementary School

2021-05-12

After seeing the former Nakagomi School, I visited the former Shiga Elementary School in Saku City, Nagano Prefecture.
The place where the school is located was Higashi Village until it was merged into Saku City in 1961.

Higashi Village was established in 1955 by the merger of Mitsui Village and Shiga Village, so before that Shiga Village existed before that.
This school building was built during the time of Shiga Village.

This photo is the gymnasium seen from the road. A monument called “Shiga Elementary School Remains" is built there.

Shiga Elementary School was closed after being integrated with Mitsui Elementary School in March 1990.

The building was used by the Cultural Properties Division of Saku City after the school closed, but it moved to the Komaba Office in Nakagomi, Saku City in 2017, and it seems that this building is no longer in use. The building seems to be managed by Saku City.

The school was not off limits, and the local people was using the  schoolyard on the day for their event, and cars had been parked on the site. So I decided to go inside and see only the exterior of the school building.

A stone monument at the site of Shiga Elementary School.

The history of the school was written on the back side, so I will quote and translate it.

“History of Shiga Elementary School
1873 : Established in Hozenji Temple as Shijin School.
1880 : Established Komagome branch school.
1882 : Renamed Shiga School, 18th School District, Kitasaku District.
1883 : Became Shiga Primary School.
1901 : Became Shiga Senior Elementary School, and the school building was built at the current location (Hongo, Shinmeinoki).
1941 : Became Shiga National Elementary School.
1947 :  Became Shiga Elementary School.
1955 :  Renamed to Higashi Village Shiga Elementary School.
1958 :  Renamed to Saku Municipal Shiga Elementary School.
1965 :  Komagome branch school was closed due to the integration.
1990 :  Shiga School was closed for integration with Mitsui Elementary School,  (it closed the history of 117 years)"

Roughly speaking, the school building consists of a south school building, a north school building, and a gymnasium. They were connected by a corridor, and there were some smaller buildings between the South and North buildings.

he gymnasium was completed in 1955.

South school building seen from the road. It is an inverted L-shaped building, and it seems that the front was a special classroom such as a music room. There is a staff room and a health room on the left side, and the entrance is further on the left side and is not included in the photo.

The vacant lot in the foreground, about the right half of the photo, is where the pool was before the school closed. The pool was completed in 1961.

I took a close-up shot of the doorway on the far right of the photo above. This south school building was built in 1901.

I moved west along the South School Building. This is the entrance to the South School Building. There is a gymnasium behind the place where I am shooting.

The eaves of the entrance.

I went to the back of the south school building through the crossing corridor. There was a north school building there.
The north school building was built in 1924. It was for the classrooms.

Moved to the east in front of the north school building. In this photo, if we go to the left side of the passageway, we will find the South School Building.

There are several buildings between the north and south buildings.

I went to the road on the east side of the school. The left side of the photo is the South School Building. On the right is the building in the photo above.

Continue south on the road and return to the school gate. There was a stone monument in front of the main school building, so I checked it.

It was a 100th anniversary monument, and was installed in 1973.

Finally, I took a photo of the school gate again. The nameplate of the gatepost on the right side had been lost, but on the gatepost on the left side, the nameplate with the words Shiga Elementary School remains, although the letters have become lighter.

Later, when I read the school closing memorial magazine, it was written that the school building was expanded in 1948. However, I didn’t know it at the time of the photo shoot, so I’m still not sure which part was extended.
My research is still lacking.

【Reference】
“Closed School Commemorative Magazine, Memory at Shiga Elementary School  [Translated from Japanese.]" March 1990, published by Shiga Elementary School Closing Commemorative Project Executive Committee