1831-1886. Scholar of Western studies and educator. Kondo studied Western subjects, modern Western mathematics, navigation, and surveying, and in 1863 he opened the school of Western studies, which became the predecessor of the school of Western studies, Kogyokujuku. He taught at the school and at the Ministry of Defense, Naval Training Center, where he helped to train many naval officers. In 1875 he established Japan’s first Surveying Training Center (maritime school). He is also known for his work on Japan’s first kana dictionary, Kotoba no sono, (Garden of Words) and the translation of the first science fiction story “Shin Miraiki” (New World Journal).
- Association with Minato City
From Keio Gijuku to Kogyokusha, the training ground established in Shiba Shinsenza
The school of Western studies Kondo had opened at the Toba clan manor in Yotsuyazaka-cho, Edo, was later moved to the Ministry of Defense Naval Training Center in Tsukiji, and its name became Kogyoku-juku. It was again moved in 1871 to the site of Keio Gijuki, in Shiba Shinsenza (now Hamamatsu-cho), and in the following year it opened as Kogyokusha. It is said that the founder of Keio University and expert on the West, Yukichi Fukuzawa, sold the land and building worth 1,300 ryo in Shinsenza for just 300 ryo to Makoto Kondo because they were both educators, but in the Taisho era the school moved again to the present location in Nishi Gotanda, in Shinagawa Ward. A monument stands on the premises of the former Shinmei Primary School in Minato City, marking the site of the schools that Fukuzawa and Kondo had both run. Kogyokusha back then was very much a naval officer prep school that graduated 15 admirals, among which 4 became combined fleet commander admirals and 8 became ministers. Kantaro Suzuki, the prime minister of Japan after World War II, was among them. Others include the governor of the Bank of Japan, Yataro Mishima, and the poet Isamu Yoshii.
Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (Japanese Biographical Dictionary) (Kodansha)
Minato-ku Shiseki Sanpo (Historic Walks of Minato Ward) (Gakuseisha)
Edo-Tokyo: Rekishi no sanpomichi 3 (Edo-Tokyo: Historic Walks 3) (Machi to Kurashisha)
Monument on the site of Fukuzawa and Kondo’s schools (1-13-1, Hamamatsu-cho)
Kimi no Ibasho (Your Place) (Makoto Kondo / Shimpusha)
Toku no Sora (Faraway Sky) (Makoto Kondo / Nihon Tosho Kankokai)
Yoake no shio - Kondo Makoto no Kyoiku to Shitei tachi (The Tide at Dawn: Makoto Kondo’s Education and his Students) (Minoru Toyota / Shinchosha)