Late in 1957, when the American School located on the Botanical Gardens Army Base closed, missionary families were forced to consider alternative options to educate their children. Doug Muir, the son of missionaries living in Kyoto, became one of the first students of what is now called Kyoto International School. Doug’s mother decided to home school him, his best friend, along with one other student. Classes were held in a vacant bedroom in their family home. The following year, their large 2 story house on Ichijo-dori was turned into a day school (Kyoto Christian Day School) and a full time teacher was hired. By the 1958/59 school year 28 students were enrolled between Grades 1-8. The student body consisted of children from missionary homes as well as families visiting Kyoto for special studies.
The name changed in Kyoto International School in 1966.