Japanese Architecture Edition Crash Course By: Sharaia Morehand
What is “Architecture”? -The art or practice of designing and constructing buildings. -The complex or carefully designed structure of something.
Early Japan • Around 13000 to 300 B.C, those who inhabited Japan were hunters and gatherers. • The houses they lived in were “pit dwellings” • They used materials such as straw (for the roof), wood for foundation and an earth floor (that at times was hollowed in).
Yayoi Period • Lasted from around 300 B.C to 300 A.D • More of Japan’s inhabitants were rice farmers at this point • They assembled more permanent shelter for a larger population.
Shrines There were many shrines that predated Buddhism, such as, Ise shrine, Izumo shrine, Sumiyo shrine, and they reflect native Japanese architecture.
Shrines cont. • Buddhism arrived in Japan in the 6th century. • Kasuga shrine and Usa shrine were two of the first to show new elements (influenced from the mainland)
Edo Period 1603-1867 • Shrines became more detailed and ornate. • In the 17th century, the Nikko Toshogu shrine was built.
Temples • Were built around the arrival of Buddhism. • The temples were originally similar to Chinese style.
Temples cont. • Later on the temples were built around the needs of the locals. • The styles then became more unique to the locations.
Palaces • Palaces are built for Emperors. • A new palace was built for every new emperor. • The first permanent palace was Heijo Palace. It is still standing.
Castles • After the Civil War more castles were built. • The main material used for castles was wood, but as some of them have been rebuilt ferro concrete was used.
Samurai residences • During the Edo period, Samurai had to live in neighborhoods surrounding the castles. • The higher rank a samurai had, the more lavish his home was. • Higher ranking samurai lived closest to the castle in large houses, while lower ranking samurai had more humble homes farther away from the castle.
Samurai residence Former residence in Hagi
Townhouses • Residences of craftsmen and merchants • Narrow fronts, but grew more wide as they got further towards back, because they were taxed for “road access”. • Store in front, bedrooms behind, and storage space in the very back.
Merchant District Merchant townhouses in Takayama
Meiji period • Japanese culture became influenced by Western concepts (clothes, food, entertainment, architecture, etc.) • Brick buildings, that can still be found in port towns that allowed for international trade, still stand as proof of this era.
Meiji period Former Tokyo Imperial Hotel at Meiji Mura
Modern architecture • Japan is now well-known for its contemporary architecture. • Tokyo has a lot of the country’s most eye-catching attractions. • The big cities in Japan have led to the appearance of skyscrapers and other artistic and architecturally unique buildings.
Then and now Japanese architecture was very royal, prestigious and unique, and though some of the old buildings still stand, the new architecture takes on a more modern look.
References "Architecture." The Art of Japan. N.p.. Web. 7 Feb 2014. <http://library.thinkquest.org/27458/swf/architecture/history.html>. "Google." Google Define. N.p.. Web. 7 Feb 2014. <https://www.google.com/#q=define:+architecture>. "Japanese Architecture." . N.p., n.d. Web. 7Feb 2014. <http://www.japan- guide.com/e/e2111.html>. Suzuki, Hiroyuki. "Architecture." Creative Japan. N.p., n.d. Web. 7Feb 2014. <http://www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/en/creativejapan/architecture/>.