Japanese Architecture




Japanese Architecture
Great Dane Meets Zen Master 

Interior Design - Jan 12 11:56 AM
To make a unique and elegant design statement with its boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Danish luxury-goods company Georg Jensen tapped into the talents of award-winning Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. Ando’s design for the 2,500-square-foot rectangular space is essentially a pristine acrylic box awash in blue hues.
Japanese Kanji
My kind of town: Kyoto 
Daily Telegraph - Jan 08 7:20 AM
Jonathan Drapes loves Kyoto for its civility and lack of aggression which brings out the best in everyone.

Japanese Furniture
Modern art bubble keeps on rising 
Financial Times - 1 hour, 53 minutes ago
Almost the first thing everyone asks me these days is what is happening to the art market. I wish I knew - and so do they. It had seemed as though the modern and contemporary bubble could not be blown any bigger without bursting and yet the past year has seen prices spiral to ever dizzier heights.

Japanese Movies
Iwo Jima through Japanese eyes - a stunning war film 
The Philadelphia Inquirer - Jan 12 12:18 AM
Shot in the sad, dark color of ash and brightened only by streams of human blood, Letters From Iwo Jima is one of the great war movies - or antiwar movies - of all time.

Japanese Beetle
Did We 'Kill' Martian Microbes? New Analysis Of Viking Mission Points To Life On Mars 
Science Daily - Jan 08 10:02 AM
We may already have 'met' Martian organisms, according to a paper presented at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle. The researchers argue that even as new missions to Mars seek evidence that the planet might once have supported life, we already have data showing that life exists there now -- data from experiments done by the Viking Mars landers in the late 1970s.

Japanese Phrases
ANALYSIS: Signs of conflict over plan, disaster if it fails 
Lincoln Journal Star - 37 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Even the most enthusiastic supporters of President Bush’s new plan to pacify Baghdad with more U.S. troops were using phrases such as: “If it succeeds” and “If the Iraqi government lives up to promises.”

Japanese Cars
Falling yen lifts Japanese shares 
BBC News - Jan 12 4:29 AM
The Japanese yen hits its lowest point against the dollar in more than year, prompting stocks in Tokyo to rise.

Japanese Beetles
Save our ash trees! We could beat boring beetles 
The Cincinnati Enquirer - Jan 07 8:08 PM
Alot was said last year about the emerald ash borer's potential to devastate trees.

Japanese Men
Letters From Iwo Jima 
KING 5 Seattle - 1 hour, 44 minutes ago
The skinny on Letters From Iwo Jima is that it's a big American World War II movie spoken in the Japanese language, and told from the Japanese perspective. The marvel is that you'll quickly stop thinking about these facts in the face of Letters' broad-shouldered humanism and finely etched drama of men who are almost certain they're going to die.

Japanese Mythology
New York Post - Jan 12 2:36 AM
DANCE NEW AMSTERDAM: Through Sunday, Clare Byrne Dance performs the world premiere of "Rounds," exploring the boundaries of movement, ritual, mythology and spiritual practices. Tickets are $15 and $20. 280 Broadway, at Chambers Street; (212)...

Japanese School
Japanese school tests chopstick skills 
Chicago Sun-Times - Jan 12 1:34 AM
TOKYO -- A Japanese high school is starting a new test for applicants that gauges their use of chopsticks.

Japanese Engines
An Electrifying New Race For Automakers 
CBS News - Jan 12 11:30 AM
Can Detroit leapfrog its Japanese competitors with a gas-electric hybrid that gets 150 m.p.g. and can travel 40 miles on batteries alone? By introducing the Volt concept car, GM is betting they can.

Japanese Chicks
What a day for UF to begin semester 
Orlando Sentinel - Jan 09 12:34 PM
While the world may seem to stop for students today in Gatorville, for some, time keeps ticking away.

Japanese Education
The job placement ratio rose for Japanese university and high school students ... 
Kyodo via Yahoo! Asia News - Jan 12 2:14 AM
_ The job placement ratio rose for Japanese university and high school students scheduled to graduate in March, due to the imminent massive retirement of baby boomers and economic recovery, a joint survey by the labor and education ministries showed Friday.

Japanese Tv
Sharp to expand flat TV production in Japan, Mexico 
AFP via Yahoo! News - Jan 12 1:37 AM
Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. has announced plans to ramp up its output of flat screen televisions, with new production lines in Japan and Mexico in response to increasing demand.

Japanese Foods
Food for New Life 
RedNova - Jan 12 4:21 AM
My coworkers Judy and Edi _ both natives of Japan _ shared "Osechi Ryori" (Japanese New Year foods) with us last week. New Year is Japan's biggest holiday, they tell me. And the traditions by which these foods are prepared and served are several hundreds of years old.

Japanese Kogal
Super GALS 
Anime News Network - Dec 14 10:35 PM
Ran and her friends own the streets of Shibuya and they won't let anyone take it away from them. Teaching each other valuable lessons like the importance of freedom and loyalty to your friends, they're not afraid to do whatever it takes to make sure that none of their friends get hurt.

Japanese Koi
Negotiating Asian Businesswomen 
AsianWeek.com - Jan 12 9:08 AM
DESCRIPTION: Covers techniques to win-win negotiating, from preparing for and conducting a negotiation to maximizing value for both parties’ long-term business success.

Japanese Songs
Up Next And Recaps 
CBS News - Jan 12 9:00 AM
COVER: Bad Cars: American buyers have been turning their backs on "Big Three" cars in favor of Toyotas and Hondas because the Japanese have been making superior quality vehicles. Surprise!

Japanese Honeysuckle
Unusually warm weather puts the East Coast in early bloom 
Los Angeles Times - Jan 11 2:57 AM
Meteorologists say a moderate El Niño is the climatic culprit. NEW YORK — The cherry blossoms are blooming in Brooklyn by the thousands; daffodils are budding in the Bronx; and in Central Park, toddlers have yet to see a single snowflake this winter, the first time in more than a century that the city's most celebrated sledding slopes have been snow-free so long into the season.

Japanese Rap
Aura benefits from its European heritage 
San Jose Mercury News - Jan 12 3:08 AM
The new Saturn Aura sedan doesn't blow you away like the Chrysler 300C did when it arrived in 2004. That car was bad to the bone, something like Al Capone's getaway car with gangsta rap blaring out the windows.

Japanese Boys
Short Takes 
New York Daily News - Jan 12 1:27 AM
ABDUCTION: THE MEGUMI YOKOTA STORY Documentary about a Japanese girl kidnapped by North Korean spies. At Cinema Village (1:25). Not rated. In Japanese with subtitles.

Japanese Idol
From Nori-P to calendar girl 
Japan Today - Jan 11 2:01 PM
TOKYO — Few idol singers in Japan remain successful once they move into their 30s. But Noriko Sakai is one of them, having made the transition from singer to TV and film star, fashion designer and now calendar pin-up girl.

Japanese Toilet
Fish toilet launched in US 
Edinburgh Evening News - Jan 10 3:59 AM
IT'S a must-have for people with big plans for their smallest room - the Fish'n'Flush, which replaces a standard toilet cistern with one surrounded by a goldfish tank, has been launched in the United States.

Japanese Translations
History will remember Albany terrorism sting as a witch hunt 
Albany Times Union - Jan 12 2:28 AM
we'll look back on the present national paranoia over terrorism and the excesses done in its name with the same national embarrassment that Americans feel for Sen. Joe McCarthy's communist witch hunts of the 1950s and our appalling treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Japanese Techno
Clubs preview: Jan 13-19 
Guardian Unlimited - 42 minutes ago
Hard Nature, Portsmouth | Adult Books, Liverpool | Buzzin' Fly, London | A Skillz, London | Zoo, Belfast

Japanese Customs
Japanese culture on show at New Year's celebration 
Sun-Sentinel - Jan 08 12:12 AM
West Delray ? The sights, sounds and smells of Japanese culture returned to Palm Beach County on Sunday, means of rekindling lost memories and teaching a new generation old customs.

Japanese Religion
Religion and beliefs homepage 
The New Zealand Herald - Jan 11 5:50 PM
DUBAI - The women in the audience may be enveloped in black but their eyes are on mini-dresses, hotpants and glittering gowns shown by Valentino, Kenzo and other fashion houses on the catwalk in Dubai this week.

Japanese Clothes
Viz Pictures Announces Hartford Screening of Train Man: Densha Otoko 
Anime News Network - Jan 12 2:04 AM
San Francisco, CA, January 11, 2007 – VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media LLC, the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the forthcoming theatrical screening of the quirky romantic comedy TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO. The film, which has received widespread critical acclaim and caused a sensation in Japan ...

Japanese Flowers
Prepare for lots of paperwork, and it’s not just the invitations 
Stars and Stripes - 30 minutes ago
OKINAWA — You’ve met the love of your life; you know this is it. And now it’s time for the next step in your relationship: marriage. For Americans, marriage traditionally means a white wedding gown, a chapel, bridesmaids and groomsmen, lots of flowers and throwing rice at the end.

Japanese Pictures
Viz Pictures Announces Hartford Screening of Train Man: Densha Otoko 
Anime News Network - Jan 12 2:04 AM
San Francisco, CA, January 11, 2007 – VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media LLC, the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese animation and comics that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has announced the forthcoming theatrical screening of the quirky romantic comedy TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO. The film, which has received widespread critical acclaim and caused a sensation in Japan ...

Japanese Schools
Japanese signal new era in ties with NATO 
International Herald Tribune - Jan 12 11:52 AM
On the first trip by a Japanese leader to NATO headquarters in Brussels, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signaled Friday that Tokyo was seeking a more active security role in international organizations.

Japanese Swimsuits
Bottle Fairy 
Anime News Network - Dec 29 7:35 PM
Transported by small magical bottles, Kururu, Chiriri, Sarara and Hororo are four fairies who have come this world to learn about human life. Although they live in a house with the aptly named Sensei-san, the world is theirs to explore each day once he leaves for school.

All Categories



Japanese Architecture

- Japanes Architecture

Here is an article on Japanese Architecture.

Japanese Architecture
Pagoda at Yakushi-ji, Nara

Japanese architecture (日本建築 Nihon Japanesse Architecture kenchiku?) has as long a history as Japanes Architecture any other aspect of Japanese Japanees Architecture culture. Influenced heavily by Chinese architecture, it also shows a number of Japnese Architecture important differences and aspects which are uniquely Japanese. For the most part, those buildings Jappanese Architecture that survive to stand as evidence of pre-modern Japanese architecture are largely castles, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines.

As is the Japanse Architecture Japannese Architecture case with modern architects and modern architecture around the world, Japanese architecture today Japanee Architecture reflects a modern, global approach and sense of style, often with Apanese Architecture little connection to traditional Japanese modes.

For more information on artistic concepts, also see Japanese art.


  • 1 Asuka and Nara Japamese Architecture architecture
  • 2 Heian
  • 3 Kamakura period
    • 3.1 Tea houses
  • 4 Azuchi-Momoyama period / Sengoku period
  • 5 Edo Japanesee Architecture period
  • 6 Meiji Japnaese Architecture period
  • 7 Modern Jpanese Architecture architecture
  • 8 Contemporary Japanese architects
  • 9 See also
  • 10 External links
  • 11 References

Asuka and Nara architecture

The earliest Buddhist structures still extant in Japan, and the oldest surviving wooden buildings in the Far East are found at the Hōryū-ji to the southwest of Nara. They serve as the core examples of architecture from this period. First built in the early 7th century as the private temple of Crown Prince Shotoku consists of 41 independent buildings; the most important ones, the main worship hall, or Kondo (Golden Hall), and Goju-no-to (Five-story Pagoda), stand in the center of an open area surrounded by a roofed cloister. The Kondo, in the style of Chinese worship halls, is a two-story structure of post-and-beam construction, capped by an irimoya, or hipped-gabled roof of ceramic tiles.

Temple building in the 8th century was focused around the Tōdaiji in Nara. Constructed as the headquarters for a network of temples in each of the provinces, the Tōdaiji is the most ambitious religious complex erected in the early centuries of Buddhist worship in Japan. Appropriately, the 16.2-m (53-ft) Buddha (completed 752) enshrined in the main hall, or Daibutsuden, is a Rushana Buddha, the figure that represents the essence of Buddhahood, just as the Tōdai-ji represented the center for imperially sponsored Buddhism and its dissemination throughout Japan. Only a few fragments of the original statue survive, and the present hall and central Buddha are reconstructions from the Edo period.

Clustered around the Daibutsuden on a gently sloping hillside are a number of secondary halls: the Hokkedo (Lotus Sutra Hall), with its principal image, the Fukukenjaku Kannon (the most popular bodhisattva), crafted of dry lacquer (cloth dipped in lacquer and shaped over a wooden armature); the Kaidanin (Ordination Hall) with its magnificent clay statues of the Four Guardian Kings; and the storehouse, called the Shosoin. This last structure is of great importance as an art-historical cache, because in it are stored the utensils that were used in the temple's dedication ceremony in 752, the eye-opening ritual for the Rushana image, as well as government documents and many secular objects owned by the imperial family.


In reaction to the growing wealth and power of organized Buddhism in Nara, the priest Kūkai (best known by his posthumous title Kobo Daishi, 774-835) journeyed to China to study Shingon, a form of Vajrayana Buddhism, which he introduced into Japan in 806. At the core of Shingon worship are the various mandalas, diagrams of the spiritual universe which influenced temple design. Japanese Buddhist architecture also adopted the stupa in its Chinese form of pagoda.

The temples erected for this new sect were built in the mountains, far away from the court and the laity in the capital. The irregular topography of these sites forced Japanese architects to rethink the problems of temple construction, and in so doing to choose more indigenous elements of design. Cypress-bark roofs replaced those of ceramic tile, wood planks were used instead of earthen floors, and a separate worship area for the laity was added in front of the main sanctuary.

In the Fujiwara period, Pure Land Buddhism, which offered easy salvation through belief in Amida (the Buddha of the Western Paradise), became popular. Concurrently, the Kyoto nobility developed a society devoted to elegant aesthetic pursuits. So secure and beautiful was their world that they could not conceive of Paradise as being much different. The Amida hall, blending the secular with the religious, houses one or more Buddha images within a structure resembling the mansions of the nobility.

Byodoin Phoenix Hall

The Ho-o-do (Phoenix Hall, completed 1053) of the Byodoin, a temple in Uji to the southeast of Kyoto, is the exemplar of Fujiwara Amida halls. It consists of a main rectangular structure flanked by two L-shaped wing corridors and a tail corridor, set at the edge of a large artificial pond. Inside, a single golden image of Amida (circa 1053) is installed on a high platform. The Amida sculpture was executed by Jocho, who used a new canon of proportions and a new technique (yosegi), in which multiple pieces of wood are carved out like shells and joined from the inside. Applied to the walls of the hall are small relief carvings of celestials, the host believed to have accompanied Amida when he descended from the Western Paradise to gather the souls of believers at the moment of death and transport them in lotus blossoms to Paradise. Raigo (Descent of the Amida Buddha) paintings on the wooden doors of the Ho-o-do are an early example of Yamato-e, Japanese-style painting, because they contain representations of the scenery around Kyoto.

Kamakura period

Tea houses

Another major development of the period was the tea ceremony and the house in which it was held. The purpose of the ceremony is to spend time with friends who enjoy the arts, to cleanse the mind of the concerns of daily life, and to receive a bowl of tea served in a gracious and tasteful manner. The rustic style of the rural cottage was adopted for the tea house, emphasizing such natural materials as bark-covered logs and woven straw.

Azuchi-Momoyama period / Sengoku period

Two new forms of architecture were developed in response to the militaristic climate of the times: the castle, a defensive structure built to house a feudal lord and his soldiers in times of trouble; and the shoin, a reception hall and private study area designed to reflect the relationships of lord and vassal within a feudal society. Himeji Castle (built in its present form 1609), popularly known as White Heron Castle, with its gracefully curving roofs and its complex of three subsidiary towers around the main tenshu (or keep), is one of the most beautiful structures of the Momoyama period. The Ohiroma of Nijo Castle (17th century) in Kyoto is one of the classic examples of the shoin, with its tokonoma (alcove), shoin window (overlooking a carefully landscaped garden), and clearly differentiated areas for the Tokugawa lords and their vassals.

Edo period

Katsura Detached Palace, built in imitation of Prince Genji's palace, contains a cluster of shoin buildings that combine elements of classic Japanese architecture with innovative restatements. The whole complex is surrounded by a beautiful garden with paths for walking.

The city of Edo was repeatedly struck by fires and this led to a simplified architecture for an easy rebuilding. Lumber was gathered and stored in a nearby towns approaching winter when the dry weather helped fire spread. Once a fire broke out and was extinguished, these would be sent to Edo and rows and rows of houses would be quickly rebuilt. Due to the shogun's policy of sankin kotai, the daimyo constructed large houses and constructed walkthrough parks for their enjoyment as well as guests'. Kōrakuen is a park from that period that still exists and is open to the public for an afternoon walk.

Meiji period

In the years after 1867, when Emperor Meiji ascended the throne, Japan was once again invaded by new and alien forms of culture. By the early 20th century, European art forms were well introduced and their marriage produced notable buildings like the Tokyo Train Station and the National Diet Building that still exist today.

Modern architecture

As with so many other aspects of Japanese culture and society, the jump to modern technology brought a quite noticeable leap in architecture as well. The need to rebuild Japan after World War II proved a great stimulus to Japanese architecture, and contemporary Japanese buildings rank with the finest in the world in terms of technology and formal conception. The best-known Japanese architect is Kenzo Tange, whose National Gymnasiums (1964) for the Tokyo Olympics emphasizing the contrast and blending of pillars and walls, and with sweeping roofs reminiscent of the tomo-e (an ancient whorl-shaped heraldic symbol) are dramatic statements of form and movement.

With the introduction of Western building techniques, materials, and styles into Meiji Japan, new steel and concrete structures were built in strong contrast to traditional styles. Japan played some role in modern skyscraper design, because of its long familiarity with the cantilever principle to support the weight of heavy tiled temple roofs. Frank Lloyd Wright was strongly influenced by Japanese spatial arrangements and the concept of interpenetrating exterior and interior space, long achieved in Japan by opening up walls made of sliding doors. In the late twentieth century, however, only in domestic and religious architecture was Japanese style commonly employed. Cities bristled with modern skyscrapers, epitomized by Tokyo's crowded skyline, reflecting a total assimilation and transformation of modern Western forms.

The widespread urban planning and reconstruction necessitated by the devastation of World War II produced such major architects as Maekawa Kunio and Kenzo Tange. Maekawa, a student of world-famous architect Le Corbusier, produced thoroughly international, functional modern works. Tange, who worked at first for Maekawa, supported this concept. Both were notable for infusing Japanese aesthetic ideas into starkly contemporary buildings, returning to the spatial concepts and modular proportions of tatami (woven mats), using textures to enliven the ubiquitous ferroconcrete and steel, and integrating gardens and sculpture into their designs. Tange used the cantilever principle in a pillar and beam system reminiscent of ancient imperial palaces; the pillar--a hallmark of Japanese traditional monumental timber construction-- became fundamental to his designs. Fumihiko Maki advanced new city planning ideas based on the principle of layering or cocooning around an inner space (oku), a Japanese spatial concept that was adapted to urban needs. He also advocated the use of empty or open spaces (ma), a Japanese aesthetic principle reflecting Buddhist spatial ideas. Another quintessentially Japanese aesthetic concept was a basis for Maki designs, which focused on openings onto intimate garden views at ground level while cutting off somtimes-ugly skylines. A dominant 1970s architectural concept, the "metabolism" of convertibility, provided for changing the functions of parts of buildings according to use, and remains influential.

A major architect of the 1970s and 1980s was Isozaki Arata, originally a student and associate of Tange's, who also based his style on the LeCorbusier tradition and then turned his attention toward the further exploration of geometric shapes and cubic silhouettes. He synthesized Western high-technology building concepts with peculiarly Japanese spatial, functional, and decorative ideas to create a modern Japanese style. Isozaki's predilection for the cubic grid and trabeated pergola in largescale architecture, for the semicircular vault in domestic-scale buildings, and for extended barrel vaulting in low, elongated buildings led to a number of striking variations. New Wave architects of the 1980s were influenced by his designs, either pushing to extend his balanced style, often into mannerism, or reacting against them.

A number of avant-garde experimental groups were encompassed in the New Wave of the late 1970s and the 1980s. They reexamined and modified the formal geometric structural ideas of modernism by introducing metaphysical concepts, producing some startling fantasy effects in architectural design. In contrast to these innovators, the experimental poetic minimalism of Tadao Ando embodied the postmodernist concerns for a more balanced, humanistic approach than that of structural modernism's rigid formulations. Ando's buildings provided a variety of light sources, including extensive use of glass bricks and opening up spaces to the outside air. He adapted the inner courtyards of traditional Osaka houses to new urban architecture, using open stairways and bridges to lessen the sealed atmosphere of the standard city dwelling. His ideas became ubiquitous in the 1980s, when buildings were commonly planned around open courtyards or plazas, often with stepped and terraced spaces, pedestrian walkways, or bridges connecting building complexes . In 1989 Ando became the third Japanese to receive France's prix de l'académie d'architecture, an indication of the international strength of the major Japanese architects, all of whom produced important structures abroad during the 1980s. Japanese architects were not only skilled practitioners in the modern idiom but also enriched postmodern designs worldwide with innovative spatial perceptions, subtle surface texturing, unusual use of industrial materials, and a developed awareness of ecological and topographical problems.

Contemporary Japanese architects

  • Tadao Ando
  • Shigeru Ban
  • Hiroshi Hara
  • Wakabayashi Hiroyuki
  • Arata Isozaki
  • Toyo Ito
  • Kisho Kurokawa
  • Fumihiko Maki
  • Takasaki Masaharu
  • Kenzo Tange
  • Yoshida Tetsuro
  • Yoshio Taniguchi

See also

  • Buddhist temple (Japan)
  • Japanese carpentry
  • Japanese castle
  • Housing in Japan
  • Machiya (town houses)
  • Jinja (Shinto shrine)
  • Washitsu
  • Japanese art

External links

  • JAANUS (Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System) on-line dictionary of Japanese architectural and art historical terminology
  • Traditional Japanese Architecture, Design & Woodworking in North America Photo Gallery


  • This article contains material from the Library of Congress Country Studies, which are United States government publications in the public domain. - Japan
Search Term: "Japanese_architecture"


Great Dane Meets Zen Master 

Interior Design - Jan 12 11:56 AM
To make a unique and elegant design statement with its boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Danish luxury-goods company Georg Jensen tapped into the talents of award-winning Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. Ando’s design for the 2,500-square-foot rectangular space is essentially a pristine acrylic box awash in blue hues.
Wall Street Breakfast 
SeekingAlpha via Yahoo! Finance - Jan 12 5:06 AM
What you need to know before the open today.

Steven Arai remembered as a ‘gracious, respectful warrior' 
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce - Jan 11 12:05 AM
Steven Arai, an architect and urban planner who was active in the Seattle Japanese American community, died Dec. 27 at the age of 60 after a prolonged illness.

How office air conditioning lost its cool 
FT.com via Yahoo! News - Jan 11 10:05 AM
It is commonly accepted in Dubai that the hotter it is outside, the more you will freeze indoors because of the air conditioning - and the higher will be the electricity bill.