Friday, April 15, 1921: New Woman’s high school “Jiyu Gakuen” founded

Friday, April 15, 1921: Christian woman thinker Motoko HANI and her husband, the former editor-in-chief of Hochi Shinbun, Yoshikazu HANI, founded Jiyu Gakuen in Takada-cho, Kitatoshima County, Tokyo Prefecture in order to practice their ideal education based on the spirit of Protestantism. The school was named after the New Testament ‘Gospel of John’ 8: 32 “Truth frees you”. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who agreed with the purpose of Jiyu Gakuen, undertook the design of many school buildings together with his disciple Arata ENDO.

The central building, whose design was started in January 1921, is decorated with distinctive geometric patterns and still exists today as Jiyu Gakuen Myo-nichikan. At the end of World War II, the Tax Bureau of the Ministry of Finance was established in this library. In 1997, it was designated as a national important cultural property. The preservation and renovation work, which started in 1999 and lasted for 3 years, was recorded in the documentary film ‘I’m coming back to life. – Frank Lloyd Wright’s wife.’. Currently, it is open for viewing as a cultural property, and is also used as a rather popular venue for ceremonies and concerts.

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