The History of Fuji St. John's School PART 2

 In March 1975, the second phase of the construction was completed, and on May 1, the capacity of the Adult Department was increased to 100, the capacity of the children of Konohara Gakuin was reduced to 90, and the name was changed to "Fuji St. John's School Children's Department. During the May holidays, a total of 34 trucks and four buses were used to transport equipment and supplies from Konohara Gakuin to the new facility, as well as the inhabitants, staff, and their families. On May 5, the entire relocation process was completed, and the facility began its new life as a large-scale facility with a total of 190 inhabitants and more than 300 staff members and their families living within its premises. At the village hall, various procedures such as resident registration were very difficult. The name "Yohane-san" was born in the town hall and spread throughout the village. Since the establishment of the school, the mayor of Oshino Village has been very considerate and has been a great help to us. Thanks to him, the local people have come to understand the school and we have been blessed with volunteers and supporters. We were also able to enjoy exchanges with other facilities in Yamanashi Prefecture and receive invitations to stay at their hotels.

 As for securing staff, which had been a concern, we had to go around to universities and other organizations to recruit staff from Hokkaido to Okinawa, but gradually the number of local staff increased by word of mouth. The steady recruitment of local staff led to the development of work activities for the Adult Club, and we were able to receive guidance, advice, practical training, and materials from people with good intentions in many fields. Women raised chickens, tilled fields, cultivated shiitake mushrooms, and made mats. In addition, there were weaving, laundry, metal, empty cans, picaros, handicrafts, beads, and pottery. In addition, since the establishment of the Konohara Institute, the number of students has increased. In addition, the Parents' Association, which has been with us since the establishment of the Konohara Institute, has been a great support. The board members of each dormitory organized opinions within the dormitory and assisted the president of the parents' association in organizing annual events, family days (visiting days), homecoming, etc., so that these events could be continued after the relocation by providing bus transportation to Hachioji. Today, the parent-teacher association has changed from parents to siblings over time, but the long-term contribution of the first president was significant. I have often heard from the parents of the inhabitants that thanks to him, the other brothers and sisters get along well with each other and have developed a warm heart and consideration for those around them.

 In the fall of 1976, about a year and a half after we moved to Oshino, we had almost settled down in our daily lives, and the children's group was still learning and the adult group was still working. The next month was a busy and hectic one, with the governor's office contacting the prefectural government, the police, the public health center, the village office, and other government agencies to make preliminary observations, a near-second-by-second schedule, and rehearsals at the site. It was amazing to see how quickly the prefectural road that runs from Route 138 through the school was built and how inconvenient it had become. Although there was nothing special, we could do at the school, we decided to clean up, and with the help of the inhabitants, staff, and about 200 people from the Oshino and Yamanakako villages, we were able to clean up the school. The day of October 7 finally arrived, and before the 2:30 p.m. arrival, many police officers were deployed in the mountains around the school, and the roads leading to the school were filled with junior high school students from the village and people from the neighborhood carrying small flags with the Japanese flag. At the entrance of the school, the governor, the chairman of the prefectural assembly, the village mayor, the Self-Defense Force headquarters, and representatives of the villagers welcomed Their Majesties. In the field group, they picked up a large sweet potato that they had just dug up and praised it, but it was not on the planned course, so the staff had to rush to prepare hand towels. After the tour, the participants enjoyed a cup of tea at the convent, where they were served Japanese sweets from an old shop in Kofu City, the family home of an alumnus of the University of the Sacred Heart, as instructed by the Crown Prince. Although we had to go a little over schedule to see them off in the beautiful autumn evening, the inhabitants waved small Hinomaru flags to send them off, and many people along the road seemed to be as eager to say goodbye as they were to welcome them.

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