The nickname for the Funagawa Daiichi elementary school is derived from an episode of its foundation.
On March 10, 1889, more than one hundred whales were washed ashore at Funagawa village (Current Funagawa Port). Villagers kept 50 whales for themselves and sold the rest for 120 yen with which they built a new school of the size of 78 tsubo (12 ken wide and 6.5 ken deep) [258 square meters] for the total construction cost of 370 yen.
The construction was completed in September 1890. Since then the school has been called the Whale School. The Whale School educates local children and is part of the life of the village. Over 12,500 students have graduated from the school thus far.
At the 100th anniversary of its foundation, in prayer for whales in sacrifice and in admiration of the great achievements of the ancestors who were passionate about education, a memorial inscription has now been established.
Committee for the Inscription of the Whale School