Japan had become a society of mass culture taish

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Unformatted text preview: Japanese structure and design, which was presented to the city of Chicago and preserved until 1946. Wright expressed his enthusiasm for traditional Japanese architecture in the following words: I saw the native home in Japan as a supreme study in elimination—not only of dirt but the elimination of the insignificant. So the Japanese house naturally fascinated me and I would spend hours taking it all to pieces and putting it together again. I saw nothing meaningless in the Japanese home and could find very little added in the way of ornament [the equivalent of ornament being achieved] by bringing out and polishing the beauty of the simple materials they used in making the building . . . and strangely enough, I found this ancient Japanese dwelling to be a perfect example of the modern standardizing I had myself been working out. The floor mats, removable for cleaning, are all three feet by six feet. The size and shape of all the houses are both determined by these mats. The sliding partitions all occur at the unit lines of the mats [and the] polished wooden posts . . . all stand at the intersection of the mats.32 Despite the example of Wright and the promise of more independence and even innovation of approach inherent in the new sentiments of Japanese architects, the 1920s and 1930s witnessed a general continuation of the earlier reliance upon, and imitation of, Western architectural trends.33 For example, rather than attempt in the best traditional manner—and with the encouragement of Taut—to allow structure to determine design (as in the classical straight-line patterning of buildings, such as Katsura, based on post-and-beam construction), they succumbed to the Western use of massive walls that obliterated all structural features. It is true that, with the approach of the China and Pacific wars, the emergent military leaders of Japan sought to promote the development of a “national style” in modern architecture, but this tended to be an effort more to excise Western elements from Japanese buildings than to encourage the pursuit of new and progressive native lines of development. Whereas before World War II the Japanese had been influenced chiefly by European architectural styles, after the war the main foreign influence was, probably unavoidably, American. One result of this trend was that, while such countrie...
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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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