© 2017 by john barr ARCHITECTS

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October 22, 2019

The Osaka Memorial Hall marks the introduction of parliamentary democracy to Japan and the possibility of a new beginning after the destruction of WWII.

August 30, 2019

Toyoda Hall, Fumihiko Maki's debut project, contains the seeds of ideas that he has continued to develop throughout his career...

August 2, 2019

The design of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building represents a time when modernism was concerned with the creation of a socially-engaged democracy, where a significant percentage of architects worked in the public sector and saw themselves as being involved in building a new and fairer society...

July 2, 2019

Togo Murano is one of the best known and most prolific 20th century architects in Japan. He is admired by architectural specialists and the general public alike, and yet he is not widely known outside Japan.

June 4, 2019

The Ura House, designed by Takamasa Yoshizaka in 1956, is influenced by Corbusian ideas but also anticipates Japanese Metabolism.

May 7, 2019

The Imperial Palace Kyoto and Naka Incineration Plant Hiroshima illustrate Japan's movement from a pre-modern, feudal, emperor-worshipping society to a post-modern, consumerist, goods-worshipping society. But the buildings have many things in common...

April 29, 2019

The Osaka Gas Building, designed by Takeo Yasui and completed in 1933, reflects Osaka's optimistic embrace of the future at that time and is a rare example of a Japanese architect riding the wave of modernism rather than swimming in its wake.

February 26, 2019

Between 1932 and 1962 Yasujiro Ozu made a series of films that provide a slice of Tokyo life during the arrival of Modernism in Japan.

December 12, 2018

The Kagawa Prefectural Government Offices (1958) offered a radical new vision of what Japanese public buildings might be and are perhaps Kenzo Tange's most significant design.

November 21, 2018

The Japanese government held an architectural competition for the design of the Peace Centre, which was won by Kenzo Tange with an apparently modern, western design that he claimed contained coded elements from traditional Japanese precedents. Tange, the practised political operator, was playing to different audiences.

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