Shizutani School, Bizen City, Okayama, Japan
Japan's oldest school for the education of common people
Built in 1670, Shizutani School is Japan's oldest school for educating common people. The school was constructed at the behest of Ikeda Mitsumasa, the feudal lord of Bizen and head of the local government at the time. The school was unique because it enabled children from Samurai families and those from the families of commoners to get the same education.
Visitors can see the stone walls main auditorium— now designated as a National Treasure—and intricate roof made of tiles of Bizen pottery. Close inspection of the structure of the roof of the school reveals three layers of tiles, laid one on top of another to prevent rain from seeping into the building.
The school is located in a quiet and peaceful area surrounded by Chinese pistache trees and gardens, which makes it a relaxing place to visit all year round.
Okayama Prefectural Government Tourism Division