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Unformatted text preview: ques of reinforced-concrete construction were also widely applied in the erection in Tokyo and other great
cities of large plant- and office-type buildings.
The earliest Western-style buildings erected during the Meiji period
—in a conglomeration of modes, including Gothic, Renaissance, and
Baroque—were actually designed by foreign architects, such as the
Englishman Josiah Condor, who arrived in Japan in 1877. Among the
buildings done by Condor were the National Museum at Ueno Park and
the Rokumeikan (Deer Cry Mansion) which, as noted in Chapter 9, became a symbol of what many regarded as the over-Westernization of
Japan in the late nineteenth century. Condor taught at the Tokyo Technical College (which later became the Department of Architecture at
Tokyo University) and greatly influenced many of the young Japanese
architects who rose to prominence in the late Meiji period. But, as one
scholar has put it, the Japanese architects of this age used “only the techniques and external forms of the industrial civilization of the West, without understanding its spiritual background. Consequently it was quite
natural that they placed more stress on the engineering side in adopting
Occidental customs.”27 In addition, the engineering side of architecture
was also stressed because of the importance attached by the Japanese
government to structural design for the purpose of protection against
It was not until the second decade of the twentieth century—at the
same time as the modernist movement in Western architecture commenced—that Japanese architects began to display a more sophisticated
and discerning attitude toward the problems and potentialities of modern building construction. Stimulated by the ideas of Walter Gropius, Le
Corbusier, and others from the West, they were given new opportunities
through increased building demand resulting from the economic boom
that, as noted in the preceding chapter, Japan enjoyed when the European powers withdrew from competition for Far Eastern markets during
World War I. Among the questions Japanese architects began to grapple Culture in the Present Age 327 with in this period were the relationship between function and decoration (functionalism was then much in vogue in Europe), how mat...
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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.
- Spring '13