Kubasaki HS (formerly Okinawa University School) History

Opened: 1957

Kubasaki High School was located at Camp Kubasaki, located five miles frow Awase on the Pacific side of the island. In 1986 it was the largest high school in DoDDS-Pacific and traced its history back to 1946. Kubasaki’s role began on Okinawa on September 15, 1946. Its first stateside teachers arrived in 1947 to teach in Quonsets. Since then, KHS had a history of moving from one site to another

Originally, the school was called Okinawa University Dependents’ School, grades 1–12. By 1949 the high school, now called Okinawa American High School, had temporary quarters because of Typhoon Gloria. The New Awase Campus was completed in November 1949 and the school at that point moved back to the campus. This campus remained all grades through the graduating class of 1952. But in the autumn of 1952, the campus moved to another set of Quonsets located at Camp Kubasaki – later referred to as “Kubasaki Nine (K-9).” In the Kubasaki facility the original name of the school was Okinawa American Dependent High School, as the lower grades stayed at the Awase campus. The name of the school was changed to Kubasaki American High School sometime between 1952 and 1957 while housed at the Camp Kubasaki.

Kubaski High School opened for the 1952-53 school year due to the fact that the enrollment on Okinawa almost doubled that of the previous year. This school contained the sixth grade, junior high, and senior high school students from Okinawa University School. This school was composed of Quonset huts of the Army Training School which were converted to classrooms. With the availability of a gymnasium and an auditorium, the school began activities such as class plays in the spring of 1953. Approximately 350 students in grades 6–12 occupied these Quonsets which were used for two decades afterward.

In 1952-53 the OAHS Student Council established its first Student Court, which replaced a demerit system. In December of that school year, a senior lounge was opened, and the graduating class consisted of seventeen students.

In 1956, the school split into a junior high and high school. The junior high was located at Naha. The high school remained at Camp Kubasaki.

The school newspaper, Typhoon, reported in 1971 that according to a former KHS assistant principal, the two shi-shi dogs which decorate the sidewalk in front of the school administration building have quite a history. The dogs were donated by the Class of 1957 and “they have symbolized and moved with the school ever since.”

In 1958, the high school along with the middle school grades were moved to partitioned barracks in the Wheel Service area of Naha, also known as Port Wheel. The high school opened in a remodeled concrete building for school year 1957-58. Increased enrollment and typhoon damage were the main reasons for moving to Naha in 1957. Students, with the encouragement of their teacher, Chuck Styers, petitioned Congress to keep the name Kubasaki High School when it moved. It remained Kubasaki High School when it moved into its first permanent buildings in the Zukeran area in 1964. Increased enrollment in the late 1960s led to the addition of temporary buildings which were still in use in the late eighties. It now had a grades 10–12 classification.

In 1964, one of the largest and better school facilities in the Pacific region was opened on an Army post—Kubasaki High School. It was located in Kishaba Terrace housing area near Zukeran Elementary. Kishaba is approximately fifteen miles north of Naha toward the Pacific Ocean side of the island. The complex of five buildings included an auditorium, gymnasium, combination library-administration building, and classroom buildings. As reported in the 1965 yearbook, the first and foremost activity of the year was moving into the new Zukeran Campus. The gymnasium and auditorium were not completed at the beginning of the school year. Neither were hot lunches served in the cafeteria. Since incomplete buildings caused cramped quarters, it was necessary to hold team-teaching English classes in the library. Gym classes were also a big problem.

KHS had its highest enrollment in the early 1970s with more than 2000 students in grades 10–12. By 1986 it had approximately 1,300 students in grades 7–12.

The school newspaper, the Typhoon, called Quonsetter in its first year, has been published since 1947. The Torii was the first yearbook published in 1948. Within a year of opening under its original name, the school had a student council and other school activities. The school is known as the Home of the Dragons and has the school motto of FIRE which stands for “Focus, Integrity, Respect, Excellence”.


Information from dissertation by Harold Clifford Brown, 1981; Kubasaki alumni website; Kubasaki yearbooks; and Kubasaki newspaper, Nov. 5, 1971, 25th Anniversary Edition

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