June 17, 2014
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten to Begin Rakuten IT School for Classes on
E-Commerce in FY2014

- Expanding Number of Participating Schools to 25 Schools in 21 Prefectures
with the Goal of Fostering an Entrepreneurial Spirit and Revitalizing Local Regions -

Tokyo, June 17, 2014 - Rakuten, Inc. has announced that it has begun expanding the number of schools holding Rakuten IT School classes on e-commerce for high school students to 25 schools in 21 prefectures (15 schools in FY2013). The classes are offered with the goal of fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and revitalizing local regions.

For the future, Rakuten has its sights set on offering Rakuten IT School classes in all 47 prefectures of Japan, and so in this fiscal year it substantially expanded the number of cooperating stores listed on the Rakuten Ichiba and the facilities registered with Rakuten Travel. The listed stores and registered facilities provide support for classes that will continue to be carried out until January 2015. With these classes they serve as lecturers in their capacity as local companies at schools under their oversight, and also provide their own sales pages and lodging planning pages as forums for product development and where the high school students can practice selling. This year, lots of stores took part that have the experience of winning the Rakuten Shop of the Year award, which comprehensively evaluates factors like popularity with Rakuten members and sales to determine the best shop for that year. In addition, listed stores that handle goods from “Mago no Mise”, a restaurant that has garnered attention for being run entirely by high school students, are also taking part.

Through the lessons, at commercial high schools around the country, the program provides students with specialized knowledge concerning business and the economy that is in line with modern trends, and engages in human resource development to get them to be effective immediately as working adults. In the new curriculum, guidelines for high schools announced by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in 2010, it was decided that e-commerce classes would begin to be introduced in a phased manner at commercial high schools throughout Japan starting in FY2013. In line with this, there is an increased need for Rakuten IT School, where students can learn about practical e-commerce, and the requests for cooperation from municipalities and schools around the country have been on the rise.

E-commerce is one means of expanding sales channels and effectively acquiring customers. To date, businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Japan have harnessed e-commerce to make their businesses successful. Rakuten’s hope is that the students at commercial high schools will learn about the business model of e-commerce and refine their business sensibilities through the practical classes, and that when they start businesses or take over family businesses after they graduate that they will harness e-commerce as a means for achieving success.

Moving forward, Rakuten will endeavor to turn out great numbers of entrepreneurs and young people who can succeed in society by providing students with various experiences and social connections through the practical lessons at Rakuten IT School.

Overview of Rakuten IT School 

・ Start of classes: After Jun. 13, 2014
・ Reports on classes: Reports will be uploaded onto the website below as they come in:          

■Implemented in FY 2014:25 schools (Location) (Class starting date)
Iwate Prefectural Morioka Commercial High School (Morioka-shi, Iwate) (※) Operating Jointly with 11 Iwate Prefectural Schools (Jun. 23, 2014)
Oogawara Commercial High School (Shibata-gun, Miyagi) (Jun. 24, 2014)
Akita Prefectural Noshiro Shoyo High School (Noshiro-shi, Akita) (Jun. 25, 2014)
Fukushima Prefectural Wakamatsu Commercial High School (Aizu Wakamatsu-shi, Fukushima) (Jun. 20, 2014)
Saitama Prefectural Kawagoe Nishi High School (Kawagoe-shi, Saitama) (Jun. 17, 2014)
Saitama Prefectural Niiza Comprehensive Technical Upper Secondary School (Niiza-shi, Saitama) (Jun. 13, 2014)
Tokyo Metropolitan Daiyon Commercial High School (Nerima-ku, Tokyo) (Jun. 16, 2014)
Nigata Prefectural Shibata Commercial Senior High School (Shibata- shi, Nigata) (Jun. 19, 2014)
Toyama Prefectural Takaoka Commercial High School (Takaoka-shi, Toyama) (Jun. 18, 2014)
Gifu Prefectural Gifu Commercial & Business High School (Gifu-shi, Gigu) (Jun. 17, 2014)
Shizuoka Prefectural Numazu Commercial High School (Sunto-gun, Shizuoka) (Jun. 25, 2014)
Aichi Prefectural Okazaki Commercial High School (Okazaki-shi, Aichi) (Jun. 25, 2014)
Aichi Prefectural Nanyo Senior High School (Nagoya-shi, Aichi) (Jun. 13, 2014)
Mie Prefectural Matsuzaka Commercial High School (Matsuzaka-shi, Mie) (Jun. 23, 2014)
Hyogo Prefectural Himeji Commercial High School (Himeji-shi, Hyogo) (Jun. 27, 2014)
Hyogo Prefectural Kobe Commercial High School (Kobe-shi, Hyogo) (Jun. 13, 2014)
Hiroshima Prefectural Onomichi Commercial High School (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima) (Jun. 19, 2014)
Shimonoseki City Shimonoseki Business High School (Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi) (Jun. 13, 2014)
Ehime Prefectural Imabari Kita High School (Imabari-shi, Ehime) (Jun. 20, 2014)
Saga Prefectural Kashima Business High School (Kashima-shi, Saga) (Jun. 24, 2014)
Oita Prefectural Oita Commercial High School (Oita-shi, Oita) (Jun. 18, 2014)
Miyazaki Prefectural Nobeoka Commercial High School (Nobeoka-shi, Miyazaki) (Jun. 17, 2014)
Kirishima City Kokubun Chuo High School (Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima) (Jun. 19, 2014)
Okinawa Prefectural Nago Commercial & Technical High School (Nago-shi, Okinawa) (Jun. 20, 2014)
Okinawa Prefectural Gushikawa Commercial High School (Uruma-shi, Okinawa) (Jun. 16, 2014)

※Operating jointly with 11 Iwate Prefectural schools with Morioka Commercial High School:
Morioka Commercial High School, Hanakitaseiun High School, Kitakami Shonan High School, Mizusawa Commercial High School, Ichinoseki Daini High School, Ohunato higashi High School, Miyako Commercial High School, Kuji Higashi High School, Daito High School, Kamaishi Commercial & Technical High School, Toono Ryokuho High School

■Participating stores and facilities (School)
・Senbeiya Yondaime Seigoro (Iwate Prefectural Schools)
・Monsieur Masuno Arpajon (Oogawara Commercial High School in Miyagi)
・Rinsendo Rakuten Ichiba (Akita Prefectural Noshiro Shoyo High School)
・Aizu Yumeno Sato (Fukushima Prefectural Wakamatsu Commercial High School)
・Bee Natural (Saitama Prefectural Kawagoe Nishi High School)
・Tanebo no Nukadoko (Saitama Prefectural Niiza Comprehensive Technical Upper Secondary School)
・SILVER BULLET (Tokyo Metropolitan Daiyon Commercial High School)
・GIFTEE (Nigata Prefectural Shibata Commercial Senior High School)
・etre! par BLEU COMME BLEU (Toyama Prefectural Takaoka Commercial High School)
・Wool ・Craft・Cotton Yanagiya (Gifu Prefectural Gifu Commercial & Business High School)
・Suruga Umaimono Maruyasu (Shizuoka Prefectural Numazu Commercial High School)
・Z-CRAFT (Aichi Prefectural Okazaki Commercial High School)
・Kato Coffee (Aichi Prefectural Nanyo Senior High School)
・Daily One AQUA VITAE (Mie Prefectural Matsuzaka Commercial High School)
・e-zakkamania stores (Hyogo Prefectural Himeji Commercial High School)
・Belle and Sofa  (Hyogo Prefectural Kobe Commercial High School)
・Onomichi hatsu Kitamaefune no Okurimono (Hiroshima Prefectural Onomichi Commercial High School)
・Ichinomata Onsen Grand Hotel (Shimonoseki City Shimonoseki Business High School)
・BeauBelle (Ehime Prefectural Imabari Kita High School)
・La Berger (Saga Prefectural Kashima Business High School)
・Cosmebox (Oita Prefectural Oita Commercial High School)
・Magokoroan (Miyazaki Prefectural Nobeoka Commercial High School)
・Hombo Shuzo (Kirishima City Kokubun Chuo High School)
・Kirishima Kanko Hotel (Kirishima City Kokubun Chuo High School)
・Hotel Yugafuin Okinawa (Okinawa Prefectural Nago Commercial & Technical High School)
・Okinawa Umaimono ya Nagahama Shoten (Okinawa Prefectural Gushikawa Commercial High School)

■About Rakuten IT School

IT School is a one-year program targeting high schools, run by Rakuten as part of its CSR activities. The e-commerce classes are designed to share the knowhow of Rakuten Ichiba, the biggest shopping mall in the country, with high school students. In the latter half of the program, students from all the schools are given opportunities to gain practical experience in e-commerce, including PR activities to promote their local regions. It offers a new style of classes bringing Rakuten and local companies and students together, with instructors including Rakuten staff members and local Rakuten Ichiba merchants.

The classes are designed to teach the framework for success in operating an Internet shop and share knowhow, and they are rearranged versions of Rakuten University seminars for Rakuten Ichiba merchants. Students visit workplaces, propose sales strategies for Internet shops, build shopping sites on websites, engage in producing products, and gain experience in actual sales.

In addition, the students from all participating schools wrap up the program by taking part in the IT School Championships held at the Rakuten Shin-Shun Conference (Rakuten New Year Conference), to which Rakuten Ichiba merchants from all over the country gather. There they are given an opportunity to give presentations that are evaluated by merchants who actually operate online shops. This allows the high school students to check each other’s level of knowledge on e-commerce and how much their presentation skills have improved

[Specific Details of Classes]
・Understanding the main points of advertising products
・Lectures by Rakuten Ichiba merchants
・Planning on marketing
・Visit to a merchant and practical experience at a workplace
・Start of Work on product plans and drafting related page
・Completion of draft of web pages
・Creation of a website, and start of product sales
・Sales monitoring and wen page changes based on the results

■What Led to the Beginning of the Rakuten IT School and Its Current Status
The Rakuten Group has strived in business to fulfill its mission of achieving social innovation and enrichment through its own success, based on the corporate philosophy of “empowering” individuals and society through the Internet. The group has launched a variety of initiatives to further promote social contributions and regional revitalization since its 10th anniversary in 2007, and the Rakuten IT School was launched as a part of these CSR activities.

Since establishing the “Empower Japan! Project ‘Machi-Raku’” (http://event.rakuten.co.jp/area/) in 2008 as a Rakuten Ichiba project to revitalize the regions, the group has built ties with 47 prefectures and received many requests from local governments to run Rakuten IT School in their prefectures.

In 2010 the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology announced new government course guidelines for high schools making e-commerce classes compulsory at commercial high schools throughout the country, starting with students entering high school from 2013. Since then, the company has been receiving an increasing number of inquiries regarding Rakuten IT School, particularly from commercial high schools throughout the country. Rakuten IT School is a practical program and ordinary high schools have also been expressing interest in it.





*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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