Margaret K. Long Girls’ School (Joshi Seigakuin), Tokyo, c. 1920.

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“Mr. R.A. Long, a wealthy lumber merchant of Kansas City, Mo., a princely giver to all Christian enterprises, gave another $5,000 to our girls’ school. It was a large gift from him that made it possible to have the school in the first place.

“It has been decided by our Board to [add the] name ‘The Margaret K. Long Girls’ School’ in honor of his mother. We can now have this year the much needed building for industrial training and music.”

The Japan Christian Year-book, published by Nihon Kirisutokyo Kyogikai, 1903

“Main Buidling, Home Economics and Music Building”, Margaret K. Long Girls’ School, Tokyo, c. 1920, captioned in Japanese as Joshi Seigakuin [trans. ‘Women’s Sacred Studies’]. Founded by the Disciples of Christ in 1905 as a theological school for women, a non-religious curriculum was soon added including a kindergarten, home economics, and music. The school’s theology faculty was later merged into the Faculty of Theology of Aoyama Gakuin. Joshi Seigakuin remains today as a private Christian girls’ secondary school in Tokyo.

“The Margaret K. Long school for girls was opened in a rented house in Tsukiji, Tokyo, on November 1, 1905. Miss Bertha Clawson was called from Osaka to take charge. She has been the Principal ever since. The work began with ten girls and six teachers beside the Principal.

“… The next year a plot of ground adjoining the campus of Drake Bible College [in Takinogawa], and the same size, was bought. Plans were drawn and work on the building was begun that autumn. The next summer, the building was finished and the school was transferred to it.

“Sewing class rooms – Margaret K. Long Girls’ School”, Tokyo, c. 1920.

“The building is of frame and two stories high. There are seven class-rooms, dormitory accommodations for fifty girls, chapel, library, waiting-rooms, offices, dining- room, kitchen, and a comfortable seven-roomed home for the foreign teachers in charge and all included under one roof.

“The money for this building was given by R. A. Long, of Kansas City. On the wall there is a plaque with this inscription:

In Memory of His Mother
By Her Son, R.A. Long

“In 1912 Miss Edith Parker opened the school of Home Economics in some rooms of the dormitory. Two years later, the Home Economics and Music Building was erected. This building has seven class-rooms, two foreign studies, a foreign dining-room, a Japanese Etiquette-room, kitchen and laundry. The dedication took place when the Commission to the Orient, consisting of S. J. Corey, R. A. Doan and W. C. Bower, was in Takinogawa. Forty-four enrolled in this Department and eleven graduated.

“No phase of the work in the Margaret K. Long College has been commented on more favorably than the work in the school of Home Economics. Teachers in the government schools have been advised to visit Takinogawa and study the methods of Miss Parker and the building and equipment.”

The History of the Foreign Christian Missionary Society, by Archibald McLean, 1919

“In 1935, on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the Margaret K. Long Girls’ School, the faculty, students, alumnae, and P.T.A. of the school sent for [school founder] Miss Clawson and bore the expense of her traveling and living among them for two years (1935-1937).

“During this visit, she was honored by the Imperial Household for her long service to Japanese women, receiving a Recognition bearing the Imperial seal which remains as a treasure in the archives of the school.

“During this same time she was among eight Japanese and eight foreigners entertained at the palace of the Imperial Princess Higashi Fushimi. All sixteen of those so honored had spent at least twenty-five years in institutional work among Japanese girls and women.”

They Went to Japan: Biographies of Missionaries of the Disciples of Christ, published by the United Christian Missionary Society, 1949

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