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Former Steele Academy

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In the 1860s, Christian missionaries came to Japan from around the world. American Henry Stout (1838–1912) arrived in Nagasaki in 1869, where he privately taught English and proselytized. When the official ban on Christianity was lifted in 1873, Stout spearheaded the creation of Steele Academy, which opened in 1887. Stout was assisted by Albert Oltmans (1854–1939), who later became the first principal of the school. The academy was named after William H. Steele (1818–1905), president of the Reformed Church in America’s Board of Foreign Missions, who donated funds in memory of his deceased son. It was a boys’ school, and most of the students were Japanese. Located at No. 9 Higashiyamate, Steele Academy was one of a number of Christian missionary schools that were established in the Higashiyamate district of Nagasaki. By 1897, 13 of the 17 lots in Higashiyamate were occupied by mission schools and residences for teachers and missionaries. Accordingly, Higashiyamate was commonly referred to as “Missionary Hill” by foreign residents and visitors. In 1932, Steele Academy became part of Meiji Gakuin, a large group of schools headquartered in Tokyo, but it closed only a year later. The building was later used by various Catholic schools in Nagasaki until its relocation to Glover Garden in 1973.