Over 50 town residents gathered to discuss the kickoff of the "Symposium on the Future of School Building in Hokuryu Town" with a lecture by Dr. Motoyasu Shimpo!

Monday, December 25, 2023

On December 22 (Fri.) at 6:30 p.m., the Hokuryu Town Board of Education hosted the "Symposium on Future School Development in Hokuryu Town" at the main hall of the Hokuryu Town Community Center.

Over 50 town residents, including young families, attended the event to broaden their perspectives and thoughts on the future of school development in Hokuryu Town and to discuss the unknown new school of the future.

Table of Contents

Symposium on Future School Development in Hokuryu Town

The symposium kicked off with a lecture by Dr. Motoyasu Shimpo, a former school principal who now serves as an advisor on school DX strategies to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and was followed by case studies of compulsory education schools and a Q&A session where participants exchanged opinions.

Symposium on Future School Development in Hokuryu Town

Organized by: Hokuryu Town Board of Education

  • Sponsored by:Hokuryu Town Board of Education
  • Cooperation:Hokuryu-cho Elementary and Junior High Schools, Hokuryu-cho Yawara Nursery School, Hokuryu-cho PTA Association

Creation of an integrated elementary and junior high school in the town of Hokuryu: opening in 2029

The town of Hokuryu is planning to establish an integrated elementary and junior high school education system, aiming to open in the 2029 school year.

We will establish a residents' study committee and hold discussions with town residents to create a school where elementary and junior high school students can learn together and grow while valuing their relationships with people in the community.

Excerpts from the Draft Public Facility Reallocation Plan for the Town of Hokuryu

reception (desk)

reception (desk)

catering service

At the venue, all participants received two pieces of Kuro Sengoku Daifuku, Sapporo's Sasaya Daifuku, and sweets for the children! In addition, there was tea available for free drinking.

Sasaya Daifuku "Kuro Sengoku Daifuku" presentationㇳ

Sasaya Daifuku "Kuro Sengoku Daifuku" present
Daifuku with the presence of Kuro Sengoku soybeans
Hokuryu Town Portal

On Monday, October 19, 2020, the "Sorachi Fair 2020," featuring new rice from Sorachi, the largest rice-producing region in Hokkaido, and other specialty products, will be held at the Hokkaido Dosan...

Sweets present, tea

Candy gifts for the children!

Tea Corner

Free drink corner

Childcare Corner

In addition, a childcare center will be set up so that visitors can leave their small children at home and attend the symposium in a relaxed and safe environment.

Childcare Corner

Moderator: Junichi Iguchi, Manager, Hokuryu Town Board of Education

司会進行は北竜町教育委員会・井口純一 課長
Moderated by Junichi Iguchi, Manager, Hokuryu Town Board of Education

The town of Hokuryu has been studying how to develop and maintain school facilities and how to consolidate public facilities in the center of town.

We are now at the stage of considering specific policies on what kind of school education we should aim for and how we should develop facilities that integrate educational and public facilities during the two-year period of 2023 and 2024.

The following is a summary of the current issues facing the town of Hokuryu as a result of past efforts.

  1. Decrease in the number of children and students
  2. Challenges in Promoting Migration and Settling in Japan
  3. Aging schools and other public facilities

If this issue is read as a "possibility," I believe that it will lead to generous small-group education and close cooperation between elementary and junior high schools as an educational environment, and to generous childcare support and the creation of a base for community development with schools at its core as a community builder.

We believe that this kind of collaboration between educational environment and community development will make the community more attractive to the child-rearing generation, promote immigration and settlement, and lead to the development of the community.

This symposium will serve as a kick-off for thinking about the future of school development in Hokuryu Town together with the town's residents. We look forward to receiving your comments and questions.

Lecture by Dr. Motoyasu Shimpo

新保元康 先生
Motoyasu Shinbo, Ph.

Profile of Dr. Motoyasu Shimpo

Born in Otaru in 1958, he graduated from Hokkaido University of Education, Sapporo Branch in 1982.

In addition to working at elementary schools, he has participated for many years in the Hokkaido Social Studies Education Federation and the Hokkaido Snow Project, and has developed many local teaching materials. He has also served on various committees for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Information Technology Promotion Project.

In 2019, he retired as principal of Tonden Elementary School. He is currently active in many fields as the chairman of the board of directors of the Hokkaido-Gaku Promotion Forum, a certified NPO.

A school where everyone is connected A school built by everyone

みんながつながる学校 みんなでつくる学校
A school where everyone is connected A school built by everyone

Hokuryu Town, a town of sunflowers: The language of sunflowers is "longing" and "passion

Sunflower Town "Hokuryu Town

Agricultural town of Hokuryu-cho, supporting everyone, "Akarui Farming Method" in Hokuryu-cho

Akarui Agricultural Method and Agricultural Town of Hokuryu Town

Mr. Yasuyasu Shinpomoto Self-Introduction: Digital Promotion Commissioner, Digital Agency

  • 1958: Born in Otaru, aged 65
  • 1982: Graduated from Hokkaido University of Education, Sapporo Branch
  • Worked for 37 years at elementary schools in Sapporo (9 years at the attached Sapporo Elementary School and 11 years as principal at 4 schools)
Mr. Yasuyasu Shinpomoto Self-Introduction

Hokkaido is big": I want Hokkaido's children to know more about Hokkaido.

The Sorachi region has an area that can fit about three Tokyo metropolises. Hokkaido as a whole is large enough to contain 35 Tokyo metropolises.

Hokkaido is big.

Today's story.

  1. Everyone's problems:
    Japan's economic power is declining, and children are having problems such as truancy and bullying.
    The population is decreasing, there is a shortage of workers and teachers, and everyone is busy, both parents and community members (in the age of co-workers).
  2. Path to Solution: Transition to Compulsory Education Schools (Integrated Elementary and Middle School Education)
    Japanese education has reached the third major turning point: "1872 > Showa 22 > 2028
    GIGA School (Work style reform x Quality improvement)
  3. ◎ Japan's prized resource is "human resources" = importance of education

    A major turning point in Japanese education

    • Every 70 years, a new turnaround in Japanese education arrives (3 major turnarounds since the Meiji era).
    • Promulgation of the school system" in 1872 → "Democratization of education, advancement system 6334" in 1889 → "Democratization of education, advancement system 6334" in 1889
      GIGA" (computer-based learning) in 2028
    A major turning point in Japanese education

    Meiji "tabletops" → Showa "blackboards" → 2038 "tablets

    • Simultaneous classes in the Showa era nurtured the average person needed for the modern era.
    • Individualized lessons at 2021 are the best way to learn individually and to make the most of your individuality.
    Meiji "tabletops" → Showa "blackboards" → 2022 "tablets
    Shift to education that allows individuality to flourish

    Case study of Wakkanai City, Hokkaido, Japan (January 2023): Utilizing the characteristics of the equipment to meet developmental needs.

    • Notebook instruction with a real projector
    • Compose lyrics on your Chromebook (your own device)
    Example of Wakkanai City, Hokkaido

    Case Study of Yonaguni Town, Okinawa Prefecture (June 2023): GIGA because of the Duplex Classroom

    • Double-classroom learning in the same classroom
    Case Study of Yonaguni Town, Okinawa

    Developmentally appropriate guidance

    • 3rd graders learn autonomously, 2nd graders learn with their teachers
    Developmentally appropriate guidance

    distance learning

    • Practical example: Online connection between 5 elementary schools in town and the town library
    distance learning

    Integrated elementary and junior high education (compulsory education school)

    ◎ One school for grades 1 through 9, one principal, one faculty organization

    Integrated elementary and junior high education (compulsory education school)

    Compulsory school & complex benefits:
    A lively school where everyone gathers, talks, learns, and plays

    1. Improved academic performance through a continuous 9-year curriculum
    2. For example, the 432 system
    3. The gap between middle school and first grade is reduced (expectation of reduced truancy)
    4. special needs education
    5. Connections and friends with more children
    6. Easily familiar with diversity from an early age
    7. Easier to keep the number of teachers (workforce)
    8. One principal and consistent school development.
    9. Focused investment in one school (high quality educational environment)
    10. In particular, enhancement of ICT environment (expectations for remote joint classes)
    11. Easy to collaborate with parents and community
    12. Interaction with various adults (growth)
    13. All generation joy UP

    Disadvantages of Compulsory Schools & Complexes:
    Think about how to turn a negative into a positive!

    1. Increased burden of commuting (long distance commuting, bus commuting, etc.)
    2. Fixation of friendships
    3. Burden of ensuring security (security should be a state of the art issue since various people of all ages will be entering the building)
    4. It takes time to integrate small and medium cultures
    5. Can you foster a sense of responsibility in a sixth grader?
    6. No graduation ceremony in the sixth grade.

    ◎ The compulsory education school was launched in 2016 (2016) and various results have been reported.

    School Education in Hokuryu Town

    Currently, the town of Hokuryu has already created an environment where children are raised by everyone in the community.

    School childcare, Wanpaku Summer Festival, sunflower guided tours for Hokuryu Junior High School students, activities with local people at Manryu Elementary School (soba noodle making experience by Soba Shokugaku Club, Hokuryu Taiko drumming, Dragon Kids (volleyball), Hokuryu Kendama Club)

    summer festival for children

    summer festival for children

    Sunflower Guide for Hokuryu Junior High School Students

    Sunflower Guide for Hokuryu Junior High School Students

    Activities with the local community at Mayu Elementary School

    Activities with the local community at Mayu Elementary School

    Hokuryu Kendama Club

    Hokuryu Kendama Club
    • Harmony" (Yawara) handed down from generation to generation in Hokuryu Town
    • The spirit of the pioneering "Double Headquarters" has been passed down from generation to generation.
The spirit of "respecting harmony" being passed down from generation to generation

The spirit of raising children together is nurtured in Hokuryu Town.

Raising Children in Hokuryu Town with Close Ties to the Community

Advanced Case Studies in Compulsory Education Schools

Mr. Harumi Homma (Senior Engineer, General Planning Department, DOCON Corporation) will give an explanation.

本間晴海 氏(株式会社ドーコン・総合計画部 主任技師)のご説明
Mr. Harumi Homma, Chief Engineer, General Planning Department, DOCON Inc.

Tobetsu Gakuen (Tobetsu Town: 422 students)

Tobetsu Gakuen

❂ Features

  • Basic phase (1-4 years), enrichment phase (5-7 years), development phase (8 and 9 years)
  • The school is open and has no doors.
  • Learning in a quiet environment
  • The library corner spreads out first when you enter through the front door.
  • After-school children's clubs are located on campus
  • There is a positive impact of exchange between elementary and junior high schools through study and training sessions on lesson development among staff members, such as the GIGA School initiative.

Hayarai Gakuen (310 students)

Hayarai Academy Case Study

❂ Features

  • New school opened this April
  • Board of Education, teachers and staff, community development cooperative members, parents, and legislators participated in the discussions.
  • Elementary (1-4 years), middle and high school (5-9 years)
  • 45-minute classes for grades 1-4, 50-minute classes for grades 5 and above
  • Adopting a specialized system from middle school and boarding elementary school teachers.
  • Library, technical room, kitchen, and middle hall are open to the public.
  • The library has a café corner, an open space with a concierge and a librarian, and is available to residents of the town.

3. Atsuta School (Ishikari City: 36 students)

Atsuta Academy Case Study

❂ Features

  • Base stage (1-4 years), Team stage (5-7 years), Vision stage (8 and 9 years)
  • In addition to the Atsuta Community School, open the school to local residents on visiting days, and promote community interaction through volunteer activities such as reading to children at the library.
  • Assuming the possibility of double-entry classrooms, all classrooms are equipped with two blackboards and two electronic blackboards.
  • Hydraulic movable items that can be changed in height for desks and chairs for use in all grades
  • There is a roadside station next door, and events are held through exchanges with local residents.

Opinion exchange and Q&A session among participants

In groups of five or six, participants freely write their impressions and opinions on cardboard panels.


  • At Beiryu, we spend more than a decade together from nursery school, so I'm concerned that making it an integrated school will fix our relationships even more!
  • Can 6th graders develop leadership skills in an integrated school?


  • I deeply sympathize with and feel the weight of Dr. Shinbo's words, "No matter which town you live in, it is important to give them proper academic education. I would like to ask you to create a generous school in Hokuryu as well, even if the number of children is small!
Write in with your thoughts.
Drawing with children.
exchange of opinions

Dr. Shinpo.

  • We are changing to new systems more and more, so it is important to try different possibilities!
Trying various possibilities!
  • Attractive schools tend to attract more immigrants
Creating attractive schools!
School education undergoes a major transformation every 70 years!
We challenge ourselves with all our might, without being bound by the existing system!
With boundless love, gratitude, and prayers for the future of the Hokuryu-machi school, where the people of the community are connected and cooperate with each other in the spirit of "harmony" to nurture bright and energetic children.
With endless love, gratitude, and prayers for the future of the wonderful Hokuryu School.

Youtube Video

More Photos

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Hokuryu Town Portal

Thursday, February 3, 2023 Explanatory Materials ■ Draft Town of Hokuryu Public Facility Reallocation Plan http://www.town.hokuryu....


◇ Reporting and writing by Ikuko Terauchi (Photography and editorial assistance by Noboru Terauchi)