The architecture of nature. Japanese architecture pays homage and deep found respect to the natural elements like earth, water, plants, and sun. This architectural fashion is a very modest and simpler approach to construction techniques. It is similar to the lifestyle of the Japanese people. World-renowned Japanese architects like Kenzo Tange exposed the little modernization as well as westernization that we see in present-day Japan. The concept of Zen gardens and the tea ceremony originated from 20th-century japan. Buddhism and Shinto collaborated in 19th-century Japanese architecture, which resulted in the wooden structures, slightly elevated from the ground and the sloping roofs. There is an array of imperative elements in Japanese architecture, one of which widely used in the interiors is the shoji, a paper screen partition. It is a partition for the seclusion of space and privacy. These are usually fabric painted in traditional art form and fixed into a thin wooden frame that can be sided. Sliding doors are the immediate priority to save the space and make it multipurpose.

There is much more to this unbeatable blend of culture and modernism, elaborated precisely in the following example:

Itsukushima shrine:

“Itsukushima” means an island dedicated to god and it is rightly maintained so with utmost purity and godliness. This shrine is a typical Shinto shrine in Hiroshima Japan. The shrine complex consists of two main and seventeen vivid buildings in itself. This paired structure is built on the Matsushima bay and appears to be floating on the water body. Japanese architecture follows the environment and has room for natural elements like trees, enter into the living spaces. The most celebrated feature of this shrine is the torii gate built of decay-resistant timber called camphor wood. The construction happens to be of vermillion woodwork with white stucco all over it.

Japanese architecture- a perfect blend of culture and modernism - Sheet1
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Ichijoji

The most important structure at ichijoji is the three-storeyed pagoda.it is a Buddhist temple in Hyogo Japan. This pagoda is considered as the national treasure of Japan. So solemnly following deep context and dedicated knowledge, this pagoda is a purely built-in wayo style of architecture. A pole upright inside the 3×3 ken represents Mount Sumeru. This mountain is considered to be the centre of the universe according to Buddhist cosmology. This spire runs up to the third floor and even above. The pagoda is beautifully and innovatively roofed with {hongawarabuki roof} a combination of unique convex, semi-cylindrical tiles, and flat broad concave tiles. These kinds of structures are brutally exposed to mishaps like the rotting of the structural beams of the pagoda due to white ants and a 1999 struck typhoon. It was later carefully dismantled and rebuilt in full swing as exactly as the previous one.

Japanese architecture- a perfect blend of culture and modernism - Sheet2
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Katsura imperial villa

Situated in the western suburbs of Kyoto japan, the katsura imperial villa is the most important large scale structures of japan. This villa is a classic example of modern meets traditional Japanese architecture style. Japanese prioritizes one’s experience above all and hence every aspect of construction revolves around the experience of the person. For instance, the windows and apertures in the tea houses are at eye level so that the person views the pink dewy cherry blossom and the crimson spread in the autumn. Each villa is secluded with nothing other than natural gorgeousness surrounding it. The katsura imperial villa is known for the mind-blowing strolling gardens and the spiritually exuberating Zen gardens. The villa is in an l shape with a bamboo porch projection cantilevered on the sparkly ponds, especially for moon viewing. Tatami, the traditional mat as well as the carpet area of any Japanese built space can be spotted extensively here at katsura imperial villa. The katsura shelves are something highly noteworthy of which are placed right in front of the entrance on the opposite side. On top of it is an exposed slanting roof that depicts the rustic and mystic style of architecture. This clustered villa eventually represents tranquillity, ritual, and highest form of peace and reverence. It very well transits the meaning imbibed by Japanese architecture with a splash of all the modern techniques as well as the style.

Japanese architecture- a perfect blend of culture and modernism - Sheet3
©https://en.wikipedia.org

The later period of modernization didn’t come smoothly, instead, a collective effort and a lot of failures occurred. The apparels were instigated by the traditional architectures, the lifestyle of the wealthier people emerged while the economic conditions due to 1910, didn’t allow the common man to switch. Modern Japan infused the traditional coffered ceilings with chandeliers and the western parquet floorings. The traditional Japanese citizens used mats, cushions, or any minimalist low height furniture as the seating which was attempted to swap with modern imported furniture which proved to be incongruent. The construction material and the aesthetic colour code still prevails like beige pastel shades of black, brown, and white all derived from the natural elements like the tree trunk, stones, etc. all across the parts of Japan and the neighbouring places outside of it. And hence this strikes the perfect balance of culture as well as modernism in Japanese architecture.

Shailee Gaud
Author

An ambitious architect, who has a keen interest in weaving words with wisdom and poetic stance. She is a self opinionated headstrong woman, taking Architecture by storm with her grip in design and its anomalies. She has a distinctive flare in her writings that leaves her readers thoughtful.

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