Zukeran (Sukiran) ES History

Opened: 1954

During the 1953-54 school year, the first permanent school building was completed and occupied at Zukeran. This school, known as Zukeran Elementary School, accommodated grades 1–5. It remained the only permanent school building for nine years. Zukeran Elementary School (ZES) is nestled in the Suikeran Valley in an area of Okinawa commonly called Chatan. Legend and feng shui beliefs dictate that the land on which Zukeran rests is a spot where good "chi" collects. Even when Okinawa was devastated by World War II, violence never occurred there. In fact, the land served as an area of refuge and as a source for food. Amongst the horrific devastation, rice continued to grow, and Okinawans were able to survive by "hand-harvesting" this staple crop.

Due to changing enrollments the grade levels at the school often changed. In 1959, it was grades one through six. By 1963 the school only had grades three through six. By the 1971-72 school year the school had grades kindergarten through five with the kindergartens added in 1968. Grades K–4 were at the school in 1975-76. Zukeran opened a brand new, state-of-the-art, 21st century school in 2018.

ZES has been renovated many times during the last half century. The last major renovation occurred during the summers of 1993 and 1994 with the interiors of most rooms being fully refurbished. The school has an open, sprawling structure which houses thirty-two classrooms, an Information Center, two host nation culture classrooms, an art room, music room, gymnasium, and cafeteria. The outdoor design of the school creates and promotes an informal atmosphere.


Information from dissertation by Harold Clifford Brown, 1981; and school website

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