Hence the construction of multistory concrete

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Unformatted text preview: eaves. Equally flawless is the joining of the wood with the stone of the foundations, and there is no ornament which is not integral to the architectonic character. The golden globules on the cross-beams under the ridge join the harmony of straw and hinoki [cypress] wood, and the white papers and green branches of the Shinto sect are unsurpassably in accord with the whole.29 Taut went on to observe that, though the “Japanese pretend that the atmosphere of age exerts a particular fascination on them,” it is the eternal newness and freshness of the Ise Shrine that impresses him as being most fundamentally Japanese. Of the Katsura Detached Palace, he said: . . . only at Katsura does there exist that overwhelming freedom of intellect which does not subordinate any element of the structure or the garden to some rigid system. At Nikkò, as in many architectural attractions of the world, 328 Culture in the Present Age the effect is gained by quantity—about in the same way that an army of two hundred thousand is larger than one of twenty thousand. At Katsura, on the contrary, each element remains a free individual, much like a member of a good society in which harmony arises from absence of coercion so that everyone may express himself according to his individual nature. Thus the Katsura Palace is a completely isolated miracle in the civilized world. One must speak of its “eternal beauty,” which admonishes us to create in the same spirit much more than is the case with the Parthenon, with the Gothic Cathedral or with the Ise Shrine. That which is peculiar to Japan, the local, is insignificant; but the principle is absolutely modern and of complete validity for any contemporary architecture.30 For Taut, “Japan’s architectural arts could not rise higher than Katsura, nor sink lower than Nikkò.” One of the great events in the history of modern architecture in Japan was the construction of the Imperial Hotel in central Tokyo by Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) between 1919 and 1922. Wright, who had visited Japan as early as 190...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.

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