There is probably no other driving school like this one. It is blessed with a vast and rich natural environment, and everyone greets each other cheerfully. Early in the morning, it is the students who clean the bathrooms. They even wait their turn to do this. Many of those young students share rooms in a dormitory. For their services, the students are paid in “M dollars,” a currency that can be used at the driving school. When the students get in the cars for their lessons, the instructors greet them with a smile and handshake. The school is packed with services for the guests, who will never come back after they get their licenses.

 

Kogawa left the bus company his father owned and founded the school. He cut off ties with his parents to start the school without receiving any financial assistance. He did this because he did not want to put the local youth at a disadvantage when finding employment in the city. He is very passionate about the city of Masuda. He asserts that the job of a company owner is to create as many jobs as possible in the community because a company belongs to the community.


His continuous affection for his hometown and young students also holds true for his country. The students who have gathered from all over the country are able to form personal ties and gain much more than a driver’s license before they go home. Each year, thousands of hopes for the future begin to spread across the country from this small town with a population of 50,000.

 

Jiro Kogawa

Kogawa was born in Masuda City, Shimane in 1923. He graduated from Waseda University. During World War II, he was stationed in Malay as a platoon leader for the 3rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army. He was in an internment camp in Thailand before returning to Japan. Kogawa worked at Iwami Kotsu. In 1963, he founded Masuda Driving School. He also currently serves as the head of the Kogawa Group which includes M-Land Sasayama Driving School, Hamada Station Hotel, and Kogawa Keikaku.
Cooperation: M-Land Masuda Driving School and Yasushi Morimoto, Chairman of Masuda City Rinri Hojin Kai

Spirit and Spine
‘Kitohone’

created by
THE SPIRIT AND SPINE
CREATIVE FORCE,Tokyo

project direction
Gaku Okubo (ISUKE INC.)
photography
Yoshitomo Tanaka (Vivot)
site design
ISUKE INC. and ICA
title calligraphy
Kenryo Hara (Kikkokai)