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Himeji Castle

The introduction of Buddhism into Japan in 538, also brought many architects from the Korean peninsula with new techniques reflecting the Chinese (Northern Wei) style of Buddhist architecture.  Horyuji, a temple in Nara whose main hall and pagoda date back to the Asuka period, was built in this style. Architecture during the Nara period (710-794) was influenced by the Tang style which was characterized by stable and balanced proportions and by an emphasis on structure over ornamentation.  The lecture hall of Toshodaiji, a temple in Nara, is one of the finest representations of this style.

Domestic architecture during the Muromachi period (1333-1573) witnessed the perfection of the shoin-zukuri style, which is the precursor of the style of the present-day Japanese house with tatami mats covering floors.  From about this time, with the completion of the shoin-zukuri style of residential architecture, ikebana and the tea ceremony became popular, and still are to this day.

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The Momoyama period (1573-1603) brought about an increased awareness of culture, through merchants who amassed wealth through overseas trade.  An example is the popularization and spread of the tea ceremony, which led to the development of sukiya-zukuri, an architectural style exclusively for tea ceremony purposes.  This style is still used in architecture today.

Western styles of architecture have spread rapidly since the Meiji period and today, Japanese cities are dominated by forests of modern skyscrapers, some of them employing traditional Japanese design here and there.

Architecture has evolved quite a bit since the heavy Chinese influence early in Japan's history.  It has changed to suit the needs of the people and with the ever increasing influences brought in.  Buddhism had a tremendous influence that is still present today by way of temples. It eventually affected the nature of Shino worship as well as taking elements from Buddhist architecture and incorporating it.  

More recently, Western influences have changed the way Japanese use raw materials.  More stone and bricks are used in construction while still attempting to keep the aspect of traditional Japanese architecture.  Even with all the changes, the traditional Japanese style hasn't completely disappeared. A minor example of this is that the custom of removing one's shoes before entering a house is still commonly practiced.  

More...  Back to Top

Information provided by the Japanese Embassy

The introduction of Buddhism into Japan in 538, also brought many architects from the Korean peninsula with new techniques reflecting the Chinese (Northern Wei) style of Buddhist architecture.  Horyuji, a temple in Nara whose main hall and pagoda date back to the Asuka period, was built in this style. Architecture during the Nara period (710-794) was influenced by the Tang style which was characterized by stable and balanced proportions and by an emphasis on structure over ornamentation.  The lecture hall of Toshodaiji, a temple in Nara, is one of the finest representations of this style.

Domestic architecture during the Muromachi period (1333-1573) witnessed the perfection of the shoin-zukuri style, which is the precursor of the style of the present-day Japanese house with tatami mats covering floors.  From about this time, with the completion of the shoin-zukuri style of residential architecture, ikebana and the tea ceremony became popular, and still are to this day.

More...  Back to Top

The Momoyama period (1573-1603) brought about an increased awareness of culture, through merchants who amassed wealth through overseas trade.  An example is the popularization and spread of the tea ceremony, which led to the development of sukiya-zukuri, an architectural style exclusively for tea ceremony purposes.  This style is still used in architecture today.

Western styles of architecture have spread rapidly since the Meiji period and today, Japanese cities are dominated by forests of modern skyscrapers, some of them employing traditional Japanese design here and there.

Architecture has evolved quite a bit since the heavy Chinese influence early in Japan's history.  It has changed to suit the needs of the people and with the ever increasing influences brought in.  Buddhism had a tremendous influence that is still present today by way of temples. It eventually affected the nature of Shino worship as well as taking elements from Buddhist architecture and incorporating it.  

More recently, Western influences have changed the way Japanese use raw materials.  More stone and bricks are used in construction while still attempting to keep the aspect of traditional Japanese architecture.  Even with all the changes, the traditional Japanese style hasn't completely disappeared. A minor example of this is that the custom of removing one's shoes before entering a house is still commonly practiced.  

More...  Back to Top


Himeji Castle
World Cultural Heritage


Himeji Castle is representative of all the castles found in Japan.  Well-preserved, Himeji Castle's traditional wooden architecture, stone walls and white-plastered walls are in their original forms since it was never destroyed as a result of war. see more...

Information provided by the Japanese Embassy

 

 

 
 
 
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