Senzoku's Origins

"Wash each others' feet and adhere to the teachings you receive here."

This is a line from the Senzoku Gakuen school anthem, penned by founder Wakao Maeda, a devout Christian.

Ms. Maeda founded the school as a private school in her home in Hiratsuka-mura (now known as Shinagawa Ward in Tokyo) in 1924. Two years later the school moved to Senzoku in what is now Tokyo's Meguro Ward and the name of the school was changed to Senzoku Women's Higher School.

Although many people believe the school was named "Senzoku" after the name of the town, the truth is quite different. While Senzoku Gakuen is not a mission school, its founder was a devout Christian and the word "Senzoku", which means "wash feet”, is believed to have been taken from her faith.

On the night before he was crucified, Jesus Christ washed the feet of each of his twelve disciples before sharing a last supper with them. The event is recorded as follows in the Gospel According to John Chapter 13.

Jesus ... rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
(Omitted) "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you." (John 13: 4-5, 14-15, NKJV)

It is therefore likely that Wakao Maeda, who loved to sing hymns, deeply believed in her educational ideals and piously worshiped Christ was more than willing to name her school "Senzoku" to reflect her beliefs. "Wash each others' feet and adhere to the teachings you receive here" is a line from Senzoku's school anthem, which she wrote herself. Thus Senzoku Gakuen was started with an educational philosophy built upon the Christian virtues of thanksgiving, devotion, sacrifice and service.

History of Senzoku Gakuen

December 11, 1923 The school is founded as a private school on the 2nd floor of founder Wakao Maeda's home.
June 1946 The school moves to Hisamoto in Kawasaki.
April 1, 1962 The Senzoku Gakuen Junior College Department of Music is established under President Sumiko Maeda.
April 1, 1967 The Senzoku Gakuen College, Faculty of Music is established under President Sumiko Maeda.
May 1, 1976 Toyoko Maeda is appointed as President of Senzoku Gakuen University and Junior College.
May 1, 1986 Toshikazu Maeda is appointed as President of Senzoku Gakuen University and Junior College.
April 1, 2000 The Senzoku Gakuen Graduate School of Music is established.
April 1, 2003 The name of the college is changed to Senzoku Gakuen College of Music.
April 1, 2010 The Senzoku Children's Junior College of Childhood Education changes its name.
April 1, 2010 Shinya Bandai is appointed as President of the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music and Senzoku Gakuen Department of Early Childhood Education & Care.
2014 Senzoku Gakuen marks its 90th anniversary.