Although the name "Jiyugaoka" gives the impression that it was named during the postwar GHQ occupation, it was actually named before the war. It was not until 1930, when Kishie Tezuka founded a school called Jiyugaoka Gakuen in the area under the banner of free education, that the area known as Hibusuma-mura was transformed into Jiyugaoka. During the Taisho democracy, the name "Jiyugaoka (Hill of freedom)" must have reflected the liberal trend of the period. As a result of the widespread popularity of the term among not only cultural figures but also local residents, it was adopted as the name of the station. It later became the official name of the town. It is not that there is a school named Jiyugaoka Gakuen because it is located in Jiyugaoka, but the place where Jiyugaoka Gakuen is located became Jiyugaoka later.
Because of the origin of the name of the place, the name Jiyugaoka itself is packed with contradictions. Although the place name contains the kanji character for "hill," the actual Jiyugaoka is built in a valley. The area where Jiyugaoka Station is located is at the bottom of a valley, and all the fashionable shopping areas around the station are also in the valley. This structure is similar to Shibuya. But while Shibuya includes the word "valley" in its name, Jiyugaoka does not include the word "valley." Although it cannot be helped because the name of the place does not express the topography, some people may feel cheated because they have to climb up a hill to get from the station to anywhere else.
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