Hyogo Senior High School and its past forms, the Second Kobe Middle School and the Fourth Kobe Girls’High School, have continued to produce many prominent graduates in Japan. Three of them are referred to here.
Higashiyama Kaii (1908 - 1999) （東山魁夷）
Higashiyama Kaii, a master in Japanese-style painting, has been recognized as a great artist throughout Japan. He spent 15 years from the age of 3 to 18 in Kobe. During his days at the Second Kobe Middle School, thanks to his teacher’s advice, he decided to become a painter. He went on to study Japanese-style painting at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts (now known as Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music). His work ‘Zansho’(Afterglow) introduced after the war won the Special Award at a Japanese Art Exhibition. Thereafter he painted his masterpieces one after another and built up a solid reputation in Japan and abroad as well. Most of his works are landscape paintings depicting peace, tranquility, and clearness; familiar to all Japanese. He was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 1969.
Koiso Ryohei (1903 - 1988) （小磯良平）
Koiso Ryohei was a master in Western-style painting during the Showa era. His graceful and brilliant works, supported by his ability to catch the essence of his objects, have continued to fascinate us all till this day. Koiso was born and raised in Kobe, an international city where Japanese and Western culture were blended together. He attended the Second Kobe Middle School, at which time he met his lifelong friend, *Takenaka Iku. While only a student at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts, he received the Special Award for ‘T-jo No Zo’ (Portrait of Miss T) in the Imperial Art Exhibition. After his further studies in France, he introduced his own realistic style of paintings to Japan. He was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit in 1983. *1904-1982. He grew up to be an outstanding poet of modernism.
Shimada Akira (1901 - 1945) （島田叡）
Shimada Akira was the last governor of Okinawa Prefecture appointed by the Japanese Empire. He undertook the duty just before the U.S. invasion of Okinawa. Shimada worked devotedly for the survival of his people, and consequently died because of it. Though his life in Okinawa was less than half a year, his devotion to his people was such that he has been adored as the Guardian of Okinawa. In memory of him and the war, ‘Shimamori No To’ (Tower of Guardian) was built in Mabuni, where numerous people were killed in the war. As a student of the Second Kobe Middle School,
Shimada was an excellent baseball player. On that note, Hyogo Senior High School awards its students in the areas of outstanding extra-curricular activities, the Shimada-Prize, named in honor of him.
Gassho No Hi (Monument of Prayer)
This monument was built on the school grounds in honor of Shimada Akira, with his hands held together in prayer. It faces southwest because it prays for the peace of Okinawa.