In 2002, along with setting a five-day school week, we established a new educational program held every month on alternating Saturdays called 'Saturday Courses.' There are two types of courses, (1) academic and (2) cultural, which are based on voluntary student participation. School faculty members and invited lecturers set up these courses to provide education not available through regular classes.

Past and future development

1) The beginning of the Saturday Courses

In 2002, to accompany the establishment of a five-day school week, the whole faculty spent the year discussing what to do with Saturdays. This discussion was passionate and unencumbered by hierarchical considerations. The resulting decision was to hold special Saturday classes on odd numbered Saturdays and give the students the even numbered Saturdays off, thus providing the staff with two in-service days. Two types of courses would be offered, 'academic' courses and 'cultural' courses. The academic courses would be held mostly by Taki faculty members on topics difficult to teach in regular classes in order to supplement the information taught in those classes, or to provide information about different fields or universities. On the other hand, the cultural courses would be lectures given by university faculty (this was decided right at the time universities were incorporating, making it easier for university teachers to visit high schools, regardless of the status (public or private) of the university) or by Taki alumni active in society. These lectures would focus on experiences or activities outside the school or on practical training. This system would be a somewhat new experience for the teachers at Taki who had thus far focused on and excelled at 'quantitative education' (number of tests, homework, quizzes, etc.). This was the beginning of a new field, teaching a broad cross-section of knowledge to students, rather than the career and specialty-based education provided at that time. This style was given the Japanese catchphrase still used today of "T-type*" education (also matching the T in Taki).
* The two lines in the letter T representing both a depth and breadth of knowledge/experience.

2) The position of the Saturday Courses in the overall academic program

(1) Purposes of Saturday Courses

  • Show adolescents (aged 13-18) a broad overview of various fields (stoking the coals) stimulating curiosity and fostering new ideas ( creating internal motivation)
  • Provide real interaction with successful people ( creating subjective connections to people and activities)
  • Encouraging the students to create a foundation of comprehensive and organic knowledge ( developing general academic ability)

(2) Goals

Stimulation from "4 languages" and "4 fields"

(1) Stimulating the acquisition of "4 languages" through the Saturday Courses

  • The Japanese language
    Acquiring a feeling of national pride
  • The international language
    Developing English presentation skills
  • The language of logic
    Learning techniques to identify, analyze, and solve problems through logic
  • The language of information
    Understanding what having knowledge means
    Recognizing the informative power that music, movies, theater, and other art forms have

(2) Stimulating the understanding of "four fields" through the Saturday Courses

  • Introduction to international exchange
  • Awareness of the environment
  • Participation in society
  • Comprehension of the sciences (natural and social)

3) Purpose of new Saturday courses ~ Responding to new academic challenges

(1) The legacy of the Saturday Courses

When talking about the education provided by Taki Academy today, the Saturday Courses can not be overlooked. The Saturday Courses have been repeatedly discussed in magazine and newspaper articles written about Taki Academy. Many outside voices have expressed a desire for change towards "a more academic approach."

Now that the "New Test/New Entrance Examination System" projected to begin in five years is looking more like a reality, we are expected to ask ourselves some questions like "Can our Saturday Courses resist outside criticism?" and "Have they deviated from their initial purpose?" Other schools lack the management skills for running Saturday Courses that we have. In addition, our student registration method is also highly developed. These assets, developed over the last 10 years, are very important to this school.

(2) Developing the logo for the new Saturday Courses

Ten years have passed since the start of the Saturday Courses, and now society, especially the business world, is beginning to turn more towards educational institutions that promote "π-style human resources." The horizontal bar in "π" represents the 'innovative ability' needed for to improve or completely change currently existing conditions. The vertical bars in "π" represent the need for "areas of expertise" in global human resources. It is said that not one, but multiple "areas of expertise" are necessary. Thus our faculty has also been focusing on the shift from "T" to "π."

We, the members of the Saturday course committee, thought about how to educate students who can respond to the mandate of society in moving from "T" to "π," and from thence onward. And thus was born the logo shown here.

Our concept evolved from "T" to "π"、and from there to "". We use the left leg of pi to signify the expertise needed to thrive in a global society, and we use the right leg to signify the expertise needed to contribute to local development while maintaining a global perspective, which we refer to as "glo-cal" (combing the two terms 'global' and 'local').

We extended the right leg a bit and added a flourish to signify a bit of extra emphasis on local development. By doing this, we change the mathematical symbol of "π" to the kanji symbol "" (pronounced 'kotsu' or 'gotsu'). This symbol "" has the shape of a person, and means "like a mountain, high and flat." It also has the meaning of "uncertain or unstable; confused." To avoid this, a basic academic foundation is indispensable. So to emphasize the necessity of having a mind filled with "knowledge and ability," we added an extra horizontal line. This leaves us with the kanji "" to represent the ideal human.

We, the Saturday course committee members, consider this symbol "" to be the ideal image of what we should educate students to become.  It represents the foundation of academic ability, the spirit of innovation, and the acquisition of specific areas of expertise. So our goal is to create courses that will help make this ideal a reality. Through our Saturday courses, we want to educate students to have a full sense of "" and to shine both "globally" and "glo-cally." This ideal, along with the ideals of our founder, Nobushiro Taki, are represented by this logo.