of Tomorrow," is the original building complex of Jiyugakuen,
designed by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Arata Endo, working as an assistant for Wright's project constructing the Imperial
Hotel, introduced Wright to his acquaintances Yoshikazu and Motoko Hani, who
founded Jiyugakuen. Impressed by the couple's educational philosophy, Wright
accepted to undertake the design of their new school.
The Myonichikan consists of four buildings; the main, the east, and the west
buildings and the auditorium. The main building stands with the two classroom
buildings to the west and the east forming a U-shape. The buildings have such
characteristics as extending horizontal lines to blend with the landscape, the
so-called 'Prairie House' design, which can be seen in Wright's first golden
age. The auditorium, designed by Arata Endo and capable of seating around 300
stands across the street to the south of the site.
After the main campus was relocated to Minamisawa (Higashikurume
city) in 1934, the original buildings have since been used by school
alumni for various activities. Myonichikan was designated as an Important
Cultural Property in May 1997 for its historic and artistic values.
However, the buildings has stood for almost 80 years, and many damaged
areas remarkably appeared. Therefore, restoration work was conducted
from January 1999 through September 2001. Afterward, Myonichikan
has been open to the public since November 2001.