A portrait of Otojiro and his wife, Kuma, taken in later stage of his life.
Satake Otojiro committed himself to forming and building up the true concept of child welfare, throughout significantly changing eras of Meiji, Taisho and Showa.
He is a native of Takeshima in Shimanto City in Kochi, but later moved to Kamakura City in Kanagawa in early years of his life. There, he managed a child care facility/child protection facility/children's nursing home. The word "保育/Hoiku" was first introduced in Japan in 1896 during the Meiji era (29). At that time, the child care facilities were all called orphanages, but Otojiro renamed them accordingly.
This is the reason why he was, and still is recognized as "The founding father of Child Care/保育の父."
This child care facility, "Hoiku-In/保育院" that Otojiro was in charge of was different from the "Hoiku-En/保育園" that now exist . The first "Hoiku-En/保育園" in Japan was equivalent to a child nursing home.
Since then, his work expanded to overseas in China, Korea and Taiwan, and the number of children brought up in these facilities while Otojiro was still alive rose to 5,571.
Otojiro devoted himself to bringing up those children without discriminating them on any bases. He treated everyone of them as his own. This was the foundation of love and respect for the children in need, as described as the "聖愛主義(Seiai shugi)/a principle of Sacred Love."
1864 (元治 1)〜 Born in Shimoda village in Takeshima
After some years of teaching at a local elementary school, Otojiro left for Tokyo to become a medical doctor.
1894 (明治 27)〜 Opened Koshigoe Hospital in Koshigoe in Kanagawa prefecture.
He married a woman from Nabeshima district, and established a child care facility next to the hospital.
1905 (明治 38)〜 Losing his own child, Otojiro decided to close down his hospital,
and establish Kamakura Nursery for Children/鎌倉小児保育園(Kamakura Shouni Hoiku-En),
where he devoted himself to caring for those children in need.
1913 (大正 2)〜 After establishing a branch facility in 旅順(Ryo Jun) in China, Otojiro expanded his business in Korea and Taiwan as well.
1920 (大正 9)〜 Otojiro put all of his own personal fortune into incorporating his child care facility as a financial foundation.
1940 (昭和 15)〜 Otojiro passed away in Kamakura.
1966 (昭和 41)〜 Otojiro's successors carried on the task of managing and operating "Wakakusa-En/若草園" for almost 30 years.
2015(平成 27) On the 151st anniversary of Otojiro's birth, in his hometown, "保育の父・佐竹音次郎に学ぶ会/Otojiro-Kai" was established.