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2019.09.30

headmasters-blog

It is not every day, unique opportunities such as JINIS present themselves and I am both proud and excited to lead this wonderful project. Stepping into the unknown is never for the faint-hearted and setting up a school first of its kind in Japan is no different. JINIS may well be my third school start-up but I do know that it will be unlike any other school that has come before it.

Bringing boarding to a country that has traditionally sent children abroad will offer both Japanese and international parents a viable alternative to boarding schools in the US and Europe. For families based outside of Japan, we offer a wonderful opportunity to learn in one of the safest countries in the world, deeply rich in heritage and culture. To boot, the beautiful Chugoku mountains offer an abundance of nature and a plethora of recreational opportunities. Such activities on our doorstep include golf, skiing, hiking and a white sand beach, as well as our own working farm providing fresh produce, horse riding and offers endless learning opportunities. For Japan-based families, we offer a chance to give your children an elite international boarding experience without leaving these shores. We will be a school for all seasons where children genuinely can be children and be one with nature.

Our curriculum will be extensive and based on that of a British School abroad. In addition, we add all the key aspects of the Japanese curriculum, most noticeably through our dual-language approach that is fully aligned with Japanese school provision. Our children will develop a deep understanding of Japanese culture and be instilled with strong personal values such as independence, respect, and humility.

Having worked in Japan before in Tokyo (The British School) and Chiba (Makuhari International School), I knew leaving the city for the mountains would be a whole new experience and my first month in the Chugoku mountains has proven this to be just that. My days now are filled with better sleep, a short tree-lined walk to school and a diet of locally sourced, healthier food. As one of the few foreigners here (a tall and rather rotund one at that!) I have received a few more curious glances than before but also learned that the people of Jinseki Kogen and the wider area are so very warm and welcoming. It is always nice to be reminded that an open mind and willing smile go a very long way. With nowhere to hide, my Japanese skills continue to be tested but I am fully appreciating more than ever before, the necessity to develop my skills of communication to best support my integration into the local community. I feel blessed to have such wide experiences on my doorstep and opportunities ahead. I cannot wait to share such life lessons with our lucky students next year.

 

Nicholas Gunn, Headmaster JINIS

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