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Home » Archives » September 2005 » Cool Sites : Traditional Japanese Architecture

Cool Sites : Traditional Japanese Architecture

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 Posted: 11:07 AM JST

For a country that has such a strong image abroad of being conservative, Japan is surprisingly careless about its architectural heritage. Since the 19th century traditional architecture has been consistently fading from the Japanese landscape. However, there are still some places where you can glimpse the beauty of the past:

Machinami Net
List of Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings, traditional cityscapes in Japan. (ENG JPN)

Chiiori Project, The
The Chiiori Project works to solve problems in rural Japan caused by irresponsible modernization. (ENG JPN)

JAANUS
8000 terms related to traditional Japanese architecture and gardens, painting, sculpture and art-historical iconography from approximately the 1st century A.D. to the end of the Edo period (1868) (ENG)

Japan Minka Reuse & Recycle Association
Traditional Japanese houses (Minka) are built with local wooden materials and techniques, suited to local climate. The JMRA aims to preserve and restore Minka. (JPN)

Japanese Country Style
Site for the book of the same name by Yoshihiro Takishita. Preserving old Japanese farm houses by moving and renovating them for modern living. (ENG)

Mitate
Kyoto Mitate International is a non-profit group founded in 1994 to nurture the architectural, cultural, and natural heritage of Kyoto. (ENG)

Open-air Museum of Japanese Farm Houses
In the middle of the industrial city of Osaka lies the Open-air Museum of Japanese Farm Houses with an excellent collection of authentic minka (farm houses). (JPN)

The Japanese House
Analysis of traditional Japanese domestic architecture as being based on long standing attitudes towards ideas of harmony. B&W illustrations on separate pages. (ENG)

Traditional Towns and Villages in Japan
A growing list of villages and towns in Japan that still look traditional. Most of these are authentic, some have been rebuilt, all of them are impressive. (ENG)

Find more sites related to Japan at Japan Links. Special section for Traditional Architecture.

Keywords: cool_sites

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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