The Art of Japanese Architecture

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The only problem I had is that it has nothing relating to this century that wasn't restored, except for the last 3 pages with absolutely no description. May 28, Jason Keenan rated it really liked it Shelves: japan. The book traces the origins of what we see today right back to pre-historic times.

It's amazing to see influences traced back hundreds and even more than 1, years. It says something about the timeless nature of Japanese design. The story is a lesson in Japanese culture - and how much it's always been about taking in other cultures and making them Japanese. The blending of the native Shinto and imported Buddhist architecture is the perfect example.

Japanese Architecture

I learned a few really interesting things too. Like that fact that the design of Shinto shrines started with rice storehouses. And in our era of conceptually planned everything, I was amazed to leant that the temple complex at Nikko had the leading artist of the day work out a complex colour scheme for the site - multiple buildings and paths climbing a mountain side. Never would have suspected this - sounds pretty modern for the s. This book also reinforced my view on eBooks of a certain kind - titles like this one that depend heavily on pictures and sidebar stories.

I happened to have copies of the book and the ebook. I started electronically but at times the pictures and accompanying text just seemed out of place and too small. Going to the printed copy the text and graphics were anchored on the pages - and the context was so much clearer.

Japanese Architecture - Art History - Oxford Bibliographies

Dec 03, Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing. The Art of Japanese Architecture takes a historic view of the evolution of Japanese architecture, along with outside influences from China, Korea and the west. While there are some palaces and manor houses, they are used to illustrate the progression of styles, not to simply glorify their size and complexity. If you want to "wander" around one of the lovely villages featured in The Art The Art of Japanese Architecture takes a historic view of the evolution of Japanese architecture, along with outside influences from China, Korea and the west.

If you want to "wander" around one of the lovely villages featured in The Art of Japanese Architecture, put "Ogimachi, Shirakawa, Gifu Prefecture, Japan" in google maps and use street view to wander up and down village streets. Lovely and otherworldly. Nov 27, Alcibiades rated it really liked it Shelves: japanese , architecture. A good read, but the e-book is not as good as the original one, with small photos and split illustrations, and as most this kind of architecture books, it doesn't introduce concepts in a structural way, so only at the end of the reading, i could see the overall picture, now i have to go back to the beginning to pick up the bits and pieces I felt confusing.

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Jan 10, Elnaz rated it liked it Shelves: architecture. Christopher Lawrence rated it it was amazing Sep 11, Annika Brock rated it liked it Jul 14, Amy Lyn rated it it was amazing Jul 26, Hannah Collins rated it really liked it Jan 10, He worked there as a physician and sci- entist, teaching medicine and the history of natural sciences at the Dutch School. Siebold was expelled from Japan in for having pos- sessed a map of its northern frontiers. His book Nippon, published in , showed more than three hundred representations of sites, including several drawings of temples.

These re- mained mostly unknown as the book was printed in few hundred copies only. These had been learnt during the commercial exchanges of the 16th century. After these exchanges stopped, Japanese architecture matured for several centuries nearly without any external stylistic input. In so doing, it showed a great unity in character. It had somehow already fully assimilated Chinese architecture and Western medieval tech- niques.

This event provoked years of political turmoil. In , the bakufu lost the battle against the aristocracy that restored the power of the Emperor Meiji. The Meiji Era — can be synthetized within two major cultural movements that had already been germinating du- ring the centuries of closure. Japanese intellectuals looked forward in the most daring way as well as backwards in a search for identity. A new architecture was going to be built using industrial materials and technologies. The pre-modern architecture had to be evaluated by Western standards as well as being estimated for its high value as a depository of the Japa- nese soul.

What was extraordinary in this process of modernisation is that one single author wrote the articles of references in both fields: Josiah Conder fig. The Architecture of Discovery, Assimilation and Conder the Assimilation: Transcription, Valorisation and Dissemination Lose no opportunity of sketching and studying the remains of your own an- cient Architecture; for though they mostly consist of religious buildings, and have many ornaments and forms inseparable from their religious meaning, there are many ideas expressed in them, and lessons to be learnt from them, which will be of very general use, especially as regards suitability to the clima- te, and the disposal of ornament and colour artistically.

The Japanese government adopted a Western model for its new institutions and hired more than two thousand experts, engineers, and advisors that came to Japan to update and develop all fields of specialisation. These so-called oyatoi worked for a period of four years after which their pupils would become the leaders and professors.

Concerning the teaching of architecture, the first professor at the Imperial College founded in was a young Bri- tish architect, Josiah Conder. In , he won the Soane Medallion Competition with his country house design in Gothic style. Immediately hired by the government, he moved to Japan and started teaching the fundamentals of contemporary architecture.

The title showed that Conder was looking for principles of international validity. In- deed, this was one of his strong points: the ability to synthetize abstract fundamentals. He advised his students to give their buildings better solidity and resistance through the use of stone and brick. He encouraged them to look for an architectural beauty designed in simple forms. Conder recognized the major qualities of Japanese architecture consisted in the ap- propriate use of wood to achieve structural, climatic, and aesthetical ends.

He encouraged his students to observe and draw their ancient architecture. He particularly insisted on the artistic education and on the development of imagination by drawing. He was convinced that this technique would give students the means for taking inspiration from the cultures of the past without imitating them in a slavish way. In such a learning process, the apprentice may not feel concerned about the development of his own point of view, or about innovation. Intentionally, Conder gave students the necessary tools so that they would be able to negotiate several difficult transitions: of structure, use, and aesthetic means.

Somehow, they had to take the lead that had been dominated for centuries by carpenters. They were asked to adapt the traditional mode of creating spaces made of mats and some light furniture to the new exigencies of a modern lifestyle requiring other spaces such as offices and heavier furniture like tables and chairs. The building plans themselves also had to be fundamentally modified, adapted to heating, electricity, and lifts. Conder taught his students the principles of structure and composition as well as city-planning laws and the development of modern amenities.

He explained acou- stics, electricity, and hygiene. Josiah Conder Fig. But he also exhorted them to find and choose ideas coming from their own decorative tradition that could be adapted and transcribed to a modern aesthetic. Du- ring these years, the majority of new government buildings in Japan were built in Western styles. The future of medieval wooden architecture and its mode of production were crucial issues for Conder. He encouraged his students, the future Japanese architects, to remain cri- tical towards an aesthetical expression unsuited to the climate. He dedicated himself to this first cultural movement towards technological and comfort innovations.

The exceptional quality of his services led to the uncommon renewal of his contract for another four years, until Afterwards, he returned for two years to England before establishing himself per- manently in Japan. Conder has been considered since then as the father of modern architecture in Japan. Looking at his preparatory drawings on window details, one sees how Conder applied his theoretical principles in his practice.

He was quite reluctant to use ornamental patterns coming from other cultural traditions than the Japanese one. These office buildings were de- molished in and have since been rebuilt, in Conder also practiced in domestic architecture and designed several residences. In , he built a house for himself and his wife Kume Maenami, which also served as his architec- tural office.

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In the second part of this essay, we will analyse this fascinating residence and show how he assimilated Japanese specificities and combined them in a modern plan. No wonder that major in- tellectuals searched for the wisest way to keep the appropriate traditions while heading to- wards modernization. Thus, the Westernization process also acted as a strengthening, a crys- tallisation of Japanese specificities. A second major cultural movement naturally took life via natural selection as an empowerment of pre-modern traditions: only some traditions could survive, the ones that could fit into modern life.

During the Meiji era, modernity and a reading of the past were associated in a fascinating hybridity. As a conse- quence, many Buddhist temples and gardens received no more financial support.

The Art of Japanese Architecture (9784805313022)

They be- came derelict or were destroyed in the wave of modernization that included a tremendous building activity. He travelled the country to develop trade opportunities for clock manufacturers. The original doc- uments had all been redrawn in Paris along Western standards.