Meiji period architecture
May 14, 2005 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Meiji architecture The Meiji Mura is an open-air museum with many examples of Japanese Meiji-period architecture from between the mid 19th century and the early decades of the 20th. The buildings, often rescued from the threat of demolition, show how Japan developed its own distinctive modern architectural style during this period.
posted by carter (7 comments total)
Good link. It's impressive how tenaciously the elements of Japanese culture survived through all the massive Western influences of the 19th century.
posted by blacklite at 6:23 PM on May 14, 2005

Similar time period, possibly from an earlier MeFi post : Old Tokyo.
posted by sudasana at 6:29 PM on May 14, 2005

A lot of those houses (mansions) especially the whitewashed ones with the columns, look awfully Victorian-Colonial.
Much like what was built in the US around 1870-1900.
posted by Balisong at 6:38 PM on May 14, 2005

yeah, Meiji, Taisho and early-mid Showa were all pretty overwrought and/or shoddy, really. "Bubble economy" Tokyo went the wrong way with sterilty and shiny modernity, but my favorite era of modern architecture is the brief window were neon started happening but before the 1960s countercultural anti-design crap started appearing.

This page has a picture of the Sony Building and San-ai buildings.

Dentsu commissioned one of the ugliest buildings I've seen in the 1960s (sorry no pictures) but replaced it with a new modern wing-like structure nearby.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:51 PM on May 14, 2005

San-Ai Building Ah, early 1960s Japanese architecture.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:07 PM on May 14, 2005

sudasana: that was a really cool link - I'm definitely bookmarking for further perusal. I did a double-take when I saw the 1907 Meji Exoposition page as it resembled something quite close to home for me, Portland's 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition. I guess this kind of architecture made up the standard design vocabulary for expositions, at least since Chicago.
posted by pieisexactlythree at 11:03 PM on May 14, 2005

Its nice to see some old-skool architecture because Japan has a vast majority of ugly, urbanised buildings and a culture that prefers new to old.
Living in modern Japan is like living in a mass produced urban-sprawl, more so than other Westenr countries mainly for the fact that little survives from pre-war Japan. A real shame and one that continues to perpetuate
posted by 0bvious at 9:04 PM on May 15, 2005

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