Taiiko Shihomba

First class at Taiiko Shihomba, 1938.

Bouvé in Japan

In 1935, Emma Kaufman, the foreign secretary of the Tokyo YWCA, invited Marjorie Bouvé to Japan. Together they laid plans for the opening of Taiiko Shihomba, a YWCA-affiliated school in Tokyo patterned after the Bouvé-Boston School of Physical Education. Girls studied the same curriculum, went to camp, and even wore the same uniforms as Bouvé students. 


Graduates of Taiiko Shihomba went on to teach physical education primarily in Japanese schools. Bouvé graduates continued to teach at Taiiko Shihomba and Japanese students continued to travel to the United States to study at BBSPE as the Second Sino-Japanese War intensified. The bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent expansion of military activity in the Pacific contributed to the school's closure, an ironic ending considering the founders' intention to foster international cooperation through sport and exercise.


BBSPE faculty member Evelyth Whalen created a scrapbook to document her time in Japan as a special adviser to Taiiko Shihomba. Her photographs depict students participating in recreational activities and completing coursework in addition to providing visual illustrations of the Japanese natural and urban landscapes.

Bouvé-Boston School of Physical Education instructors on the veranda of Nojiri camp lodge
camper [L] and Director Kikoye Takeuchi [R] at Nojiri summer camp
Campfire at Nojiri summer camp
Chapel service at Nojiri summer camp
Instructor traveling to Nojiri summer camp
Lake at Nojiri summer camp on northern Honshu
Scenes at Nojiri summer camp
Scenes from Taiiko Shihomba and Nojiri summer camp
Students at Nojiri summer camp
Students sing around the campfire at Nojiri summer camp
Taiiko Shihomba students and administrators
Swim class at Tokyo YWCA
Swim drill at Tokyo YWCA
Scenes at Tokyo YWCA
Swimming and diving classes at Tokyo YWCA