Established in 1911, Kinmon Gakuen/ Golden Gate Institute served as an educational institution for the children of Japanese immigrants who were not allowed to go to the local schools in the US. In 1924, the State of California granted its recognition as a legal corporation. Over the years, Kinmon Gakuen has grown. With time it has become a venue for Japanese Americans to gather and participate in cultural activities to enrich their lives and those of future generations. Today, Kinmon Gakuen is a language school that teaches not only the language but also the Japanese culture and tradition to anyone interested.

Educational Goal

  1. In addition to learning the Japanese language, for students to have opportunities to observe and practice manners and customs of Japan that incorporate the spirit of selflessness and consideration for others.
  2. For students to broaden their global perspective by being exposed to Japanese culture, thereby enriching their appreciation and understanding of foreign cultures.
  3. For students to embrace the Japanese tradition as well as the history of Kinmon Gakuen, and to foster the spirit of respect and appreciation for the forefathers.


In the late 1800s, anti-Japanese movement had been growing in the US. Japanese immigrants and their children were victims of harsh discrimination. Among the most concerning was the refusal of public school admittance to children of Japanese ancestry. The various prejudicial incidents gave rise to different Japanese immigrant groups to organize. In San Francisco, the local Japanese American communities banded together to form an educational organization for their children, leading to the founding of Kinmon Gakuen.

  • May 2, 1910: Core Group of Japanese American Association gathered to establish Japanese educational organization for their children. This was day that Kinmon Gakuen was founded.
  • April 15, 1911: A grand opening ceremony was held. In October, Homei elementary school in San Francisco, operated by Mr. Kaichiro Kihara was merged with Kinmon Gakuen.
  • April 16, 1924: Legal recognition of Kinmon Gakuen/Golden Gate Institute Foundation was granted by the States of California.
  • April 11, 1926: Grand decication of the new school building was held. Kinmon Gakuen foundation commemorative ceremonies were held.
  • May 12, 1931: Prince and Princess Takamatsu no Miya visited and observed classes.
  • September 4, 1933: Prince and Princess Kaya visited and observed classes.
  • October 30, 1935: Merger with Kyowa Gakuen
  • December 7, 1941: Out-break of World War Ⅱ. On January 1942, enemy foreign national general evacuation and confinement started which sent 600 Japanese diplomats to State of Montana and about 117,000 Japanese Americans living in the west coast re-located to two internment camps, resulting in closing of Kinmon Gakuen.
  • January 26, 1948: Once established the bottom floor of 2013 Bush street, next to the land owned by Kinmon Gakuen, as a temporary location. In October, the reopening and start of a new semester. The students are mostly third generation Japans Americans.
  • 1956: The showing of Japanese movies became popular in the Northern California, and Kinmon Gakuen Hall was used during the weekend to present Japanese movie shows.
  • February 23, 1960: Crown Prince and Princess visitation.