[Where people and place resonate together]

Shobu Gakuen 

5066 Yoshino-cho, Kagoshima City,                                                      892-0871 JAPAN

+81 99-243-6639



Time Line

1973 – Founded Shobu Gakuen, a facility for people with developmental, mental and physical difficulties

1974 – Established a team of practical work instructors (Oshima-tsumugi,  gardening and bamboo craft)

1985 - Launched Kobo Shobu (Studio Shobu) as the center for creative activities

1988 – Expanded the Shobu Gakuen Dormitory (Taiyo Dormitory)  (capacity of 70). Founded the woodworking workshop. Founded the the textile workshop (dyeing, weaving, embroidery)

1990 – Founded the Ceramics Studio

1992 – Founded the nui project

1993 – Founded the Washi studio. Founded Depot 1, a gallery within  Shobu Gakuen

1994 – Founded Depot 2, a gallery within Shobu Gakuen

1995 – Opened Group Home 95 (capacity 5)

1997 – Opened Group Home 97 (capacity of 4). Founded bakery

1999 – Opened Do Shobu, a day care service center for persons with developmental difficulties living at home

2000 – Opened Group Home 2000 (capacity 5)

2001 – Opened Craft Shobu, a small sheltered work center

2002 – Opened a home help service center for persons with developmental disabilities

2003 – Transition to a system of payment for the type of support provided instead of a set fee at facilities for people with disabilities

2004 – Opened group home 2004 (capacity 4)

2005 – Transitioned in part to providing services under the Law for Support Independence. Launched a living care program (capacity 20) and training for independence (capacity 10). Be Shobu, the home help service center, provides programs and  support for home care. Care Home Shobu, a local residential home with programs for residential and supporting group living (named changes from ‘group home’ to ‘care home’

2006 – Opened Care Home 2006 (capacity 7). Opened Sakura House (capacity of 2)

2007 – Completed rebuilding of the Shobu Gakuen Residential Support Facility (capacity 60). Founded                 S Gallery within Shobu Gakuen

2008 – Ceased operating the Craft Shobu Sheltered work center. Expanded the B program for supporting continued employment (capacity 20). Opened Otafuku pasta restaurant and café. Opened Care Home 2008 (capacity 4). Opened the Tsunagi House care home (capacity 6). Reduced the capacity of Shobu Gakuen to 50

2009 – Opened Omni House, a community networking space

2011 –    Launched a work transition support program. Opened the Bonta Soba shop. Reduced the capacity of Shobu Gakuen to 40. Opened the Tabunoki House care home (capacity 7)

2012 – Opened Shobu, a consultation support center

Shobu Gakuen is a facility for persons with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, located in Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan. We offer day, residential and home care services.

Resting on a leafy corner of the Yoshino Plateau, Shobu is approximately 10 kilometers from the bustling heart of Kagoshima City.

Autumn brings great swathes of red, orange and yellow foliage cascading down from the upper reaches of the Inari River and Takinokami, to the seashores that lie in the shadow of mighty Sakurajima.

In spring the sunlight in this southern region already feels more like that of early summer, as everything is bathed in a honeyed glow that gently lifts the winter chill. The timeless mountainsides shimmer emerald green and Prussian blue as new growth spreads, unstoppable, creating a patchwork of color that sways in the warming breeze. Bamboo forests wave in the wind to the cedar trees, cherry trees, now free from the grip of winter, stretch in anticipation of their ephemeral blossom that is soon to follow.

It was in this magnificent setting that Shobu Gakuen was founded in 1973 as a facility supporting people with developmental, mental and physical disabilities.   Over the years its surroundings have changed significantly as rapid development has spread through the local area, yet Shobu`s home is still filled with trees, flowers and all manner of plants.

The cherry trees planted to commemorate the founding of the facility grow larger each year, casting their benevolent shade over this place of ease. The huge laurel tree, believed to be over 250 years old, brings memories to us of the old days of Shobu-dani in Yoshino-cho, reminding us through its sturdy branches that as we move into the future, we must not forget our origins. Birds take refuge here, light dances through the leaves, causing a mottled effect of syrup coloured light to skip across its trunk.

While cherishing and preserving the natural beauty of this place, we have also carried out a variety of pioneering experiments here in order to build a creative, stimulating community. In 2007, with the completion of our new campus, we embarked on a new stage in our history. As part of this process we have preserved the old Shobu Gakuen as an interface between the people who depict a sustainable future for humanity and the environment. We hope that by gathering here, people – with or without disabilities- will communicate with each other in many different ways and connect with inner peace and happiness.