EALAC V3613: Buildings and Cities in Japanese History

Tu/Th 2:40-3:55 Spring 1992 (424 Kent)

H. D. Smith

Course Description : A survey of Japanese traditions of architecture and city-building from their origins until the present day. The emphasis is on the cultural meaning and social significance of the built environment, as a critical means of grasping the evolution of Japanese culture as a whole. No previous knowledge of Japanese history is required.

Requirements :

"THOUGHTS AND QUERIES" LOG. For every class meeting, you must do the assigned reading and write out one page (longhand is fine) of "thoughts and queries": your thoughts on the key issues involved in the topic at hand, and any particular queries you have about the reading. You will be asked to hand these in at the end of each class. Your complete log will be returned at the end of the semester with comments and a grade. The log, together with your contribution to class discussion, will count for 40% of the final grade.

PAPERS. Three papers are required, two short (4-6 pages, 15% of grade each), and one longer final paper (10-15 pages, 30% of grade). The first short paper will be on an assigned topic (see syllabus #7 below), due at the class hour on February 11, and the second will be on a topic of your choice, due at the class hour on March 24. The final paper, on a topic of your choice, will be due 5 pm, Tuesday, May 28.

OTHER ASSIGNMENTS. In addition, there will be two other small assignments, for January 21 (a map quiz), and February 27 (construction of a paper model). See the syllabus for details.

Readings: The basic background textbook for the course is Paul Varley, Japanese Culture: A Short History ($12.95), which is available for purchase at the University Bookstore (Barnes and Noble). Other assigned books available at the Bookstore are: Kazuo Nishi and Kazuo Hozumi, What is Japanese Architecture? ($24.95); Mitsuo Inoue, Space in Japanese Architecture ($25); Atsushi Ueda, The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House ($24.95); Mitchell Bring and Josse Wayemberg, Japanese Gardens--Design and Meaning ($23.95); Edward Sylvester Morse, Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings ($7.95); and Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, In Praise of Shadows ($3.95). Not assigned but recommended for those interested in Japanese building techniques is William Coaldrake, The Way of the Carpenter: Tools and Japanese Architecture .

Assigned readings are available on reserve in the East Asian Library in Kent Hall. In addition to the reading assignments, there will be four slide-tape presentations that you can view on your own in the East Asian Library.


#1. Th, Jan. 16. The Geographical Determinants of Japanese Building

No assignment.

#2. Tu, Jan. 21. The Earliest Japanese Buildings

READING: Varley, Japanese Culture, ch. 1.

Nishi, What Is Japanese Architecture?, pp. 54-55

MAP QUIZ: Be prepared to draw a map of Japan and identify the following: the four main islands (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu); the cities of Nara, Heian (Kyoto), Kamakura, Edo (Tokyo), Osaka, and Nagasaki; and Mt. Fuji.

#3. Th, Jan. 23. The Primal Act of Building in Japan

READING: Inoue, Space in Japanese Architecture, pp. 3-17.

Gunter Nitschke, "SHIME: Binding/Unbinding" [FOLDER]. NOTE: If unable to plough through the whole article, at the very least read closely pp. 748-49, 766-69, and 783.

Japan Advertiser, Enthronement of the One Hundred

Twenty-Fourth Emperor of Japan, pp. 31-38 [FOLDER]

#4. Tu, Jan. 28. The Pattern of Ritual Renewal

SLIDE-TAPE MODULE: "The Grand Shrine of Ise: Shinto Takes Shape"

READING: Varley, ch. 2.

Tsunoda, Sources of Japanese Tradition, I/21-33.

Nishi, pp. 40-41.

#5. Th, Jan. 30. Buddhist Architecture on Japanese Soil

SLIDE-TAPE MODULE: "Prince Shotoku's Temple: The Riddles of Horyuji"

READING: Nishi, pp. 12-15.

Edward Kidder, "Horyuji," pp. 55-60 [FOLDER]

#6. Tu, Feb. 4. Todaiji and the Shosoin

READING: Nishi, pp. 16-17, 20-21.

Tsunoda, Sources of Japanese Tradition, I/91-105.

#7. Th, Feb. 6. The Chinese-Style Capital in Japan

READING: Nelson Wu, Chinese and Indian Architecture--The City of Man, the Mountain of Gods, and the Realm of the Immortals (complete)

#8. Tu, Feb. 11. The Capitals of Nara and Heian

FIRST PAPER DUE TODAY: This paper should be a study of one, (or a comparison between any two) of the following four complexes: Daijôkyû (the temporary shrine for the Daijôsai, "Great Food Ceremony"), Ise Shrine, Izumo Shrine, Horyuji Temple, Todaiji Temple. 4-6 pages, typed. (A list of sources will be provided in advance.)

READING: Varley, ch. 3

Nishi, pp. 56-59

John W. Hall, "Kyoto as Historical Background," in John W. Hall and Jeffrey P. Mass, eds., Medieval Japan: Essays in Institutional History (Yale Univ. Press, 1974), pp. 3-27.

#9. Th, Feb. 13. Living Space in the World of Genji

READING: Varley, ch. 4

Nishi, pp. 64-67

Ivan Morris, The World of the Shining Prince, ch. II ("The Setting"), esp. pp. 44-50.

Murasaki Shikibu--Her Diary and Poetic Memoirs,

trans. Richard Bowring. Read thru the translation of the diary, pp. 43-155, for evidence of the nature of living space in the Heian court, while consulting the eight illustrations of the "Tale of Genji Scroll"following p. 160 and the ground-plans in appendix 4 (pp. 199-205).

#10. Tu, Feb. 18. Medieval Ideas of Dwelling and Landscape

READING: Varley, ch. 5

"An Account of My Hut" [ Hôjôki], in Donald Keene,

comp., Anthology of Japanese Literature, pp. 197-212

Mitchell Bring and Josse Wayembergh, Japanese

Gardens (McGraw-Hill, 1981), pp. 151-171.

FOR YOUR LOG TODAY: Draw as detailed a plan as possible of Kamo no chômei's Ten-Foot Square Hut as described in the Hôjôki , together with your thoughts on the idea of dwelling put forth in the Hôjôki.

#11. Th, Feb. 20. The Japanese Garden

READING: Mitchell Bring and Josse Wayembergh, Japanese

Gardens (McGraw-Hill, 1981), pp. 55-77,


#12. Tu, Feb. 25. Samurai Culture and the Shoin "Style"

READING: Varley, ch. 6

Nishi, pp. 70-77

Ito Teiji, "The Development of Shoin-Style Architecture," in John Hall and Toyoda Takeshi, eds., Japan in the Muromachi Age (Univ. of California Press, 1977), pp. 227-239. [FOLDER]

#13. Th, Feb. 27. The Teahouse and Sukiya Design

READING: Nishi, pp. 78-81, 105-119

Tange Kenzo, Katsura--Tradition and Creation in

Japanese Architecture, pp. 10-37, 44-46.

EXERCISE: Construct a paper model of the Taian Teahouse (for which materials will be handed out), then study the model carefully to see how the teahouse actually works. Include in your log some comments on what you learned.

#14. Tu, March 3. The Age of the Castle

READING: Michael Cooper, ed., They Came to Japan--An Anthology of European Reports on Japan, 1543-1640, pp. 131-141, 260-268.

Nishi, pp. 94-101.

#15. Th, March 5. Medieval Kyoto

READING: John W. Hall, "Kyoto as Historical Background," in John W. Hall and Jeffrey P. Mass, eds., Medieval Japan: Essays in Institutional History (Yale Univ. Press, 1974), pp. 27-38.

#16. Tu, March 10. Katsura and Nikkô

SLIDE-TAPE MODULE: "Katsura and Nikkô: The Two Faces of Tokugawa Tradition"

READING: Isozaki, Arata, "Katsura Villa: The Ambiguity of Its Space," in Katsura Villa: Space and Form (Rizzoli, 1987, c1983), pp. 1-13. [FOLDER]

#17. Th, March 12. The Planning and Unplanning of Edo

READING: Nishi, pp. 88-89.

John W. Hall, "The Castle Town and Japan's Modern Urbanization," in John W. Hall and Marius Jansen, eds., Studies in the Institutional History of Early Modern Japan (Princeton Univ. P., 1968), pp. 169-188. [FOLDER]

William H. Coaldrake, "Edo Architecture and Tokugawa Law," Monumenta Nipponica 36/3 (Autumn 1981), pp. 239-253. [FOLDER]


#18. Tu, March 24. The Spaces and Places of Edo

READING: Varley, ch. 7.

Nishi, pp. 88-89, 124-127.

Henry Smith, "Sky and Water: The Deep Structures of Tokyo," in Mildred Friedman, ed., Tokyo: Form and Spirit, pp. 21-35. [Avery Shelf #308 or FOLDER]

#19. Th, March 26. Western Architecture and Meiji Tokyo

READING: Varley, chs. 9-10.

Julia Meech-Pekarik, The World of the Meiji Print: Impressions of a New Civilization (Weatherhill, 1986), pp. 62-102. [Starr reserve NE1322 .M44 1986]

Fujimori, Terunobu, "Urban Planning in the Meiji Era," Japan Echo, vol. 14, spec. issue (1987), pp. 45-49. [FOLDER]

#20. Tu, March 31. The Emergence of a Modern Architecture

SLIDE-TAPE MODULE: "Tange Kenzo: Tradition and Creativity in Modern Architecture"

READING: Varley, ch. 11.

Fujioka, Hiroyasu, "The Search for 'Japanese Architecture' in Modern Ages," Japan Foundation Newsletter 15/3 (Dec. 1987), pp. 1-9. [FOLDER]

Isozaki, Arata, "Anatomy of Arata Isozaki," Kenchiku bunka , October 1991, pp. 22-34. [FOLDER]

OPTIONAL: Michael Ross, Beyond Metabolism: The New Japanese Architecture (Architectural Record Books, 1978), pp. 23-38 [Avery Shelf #305].

#21. Th, April 2. Minka: The Roots of Rural Architecture

READING: Nishi, pp. 82-87.

Itoh, Teiji, Traditional Domestic Architecture of Japan (Weatherhill, 1972, c1965), ch. 1 (pp. 9-41). [FOLDER]

Chûji Kawashima, Minka: Traditional Houses of Rural Japan (Kodansha Intl., 1986), pp. 54-70, 102-108. [Avery Shelf #308 or Starr FOLDER]

SECOND PAPER DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 3, AT 5 PM. Length: 4-6 pages.

#22. Tu, April 7. Three Modern Americans Describe the Japanese House

READING: Edward S. Morse, Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings (Dover Publications, 1961; orig. 1886), pp. xxvii-xxxv, 45-74, and 108-119 (especially the illustrations). [Avery Shelf #308 or Starr FOLDER]

John Embree, Suyemura (University of Chicago Press, 1939), pp. 89-104, 125-129 [FOLDER]

Robert J. Smith, Kurusu: The Price of Progress in a Japanese Village, 1951-1975 (Stanford University Press, 1978), pp. 131-143. [FOLDER]

#23. Th, April 9. Light and Dark in the Japanese House

READING: Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, In Praise of Shadows, complete.

Morse, Japanese Homes and Their Surroundings, pp. 185-233 and 308-317). [Avery Shelf #308 or Starr FOLDER]

#24. Tu, April 14. Change and Tradition in Modern Tokyo

READING: Theodore C. Bestor, "Traditionalism and Identity in a Tokyo Neighborhood," in George Gmelch and Walter Zenner, eds. Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology (Waveland Press, 1988), pp. 424-434. [FOLDER]

"Tokyo: Creative Chaos," special issue of Japan Echo , vol. 14 (1987). READ: Takashina Shuji, "Tokyo: Creative Chaos" (pp. 2-7), Fujii Nobuo, "Directions for Growth" (pp. 12-19), Jinnai Hidenobu, "Tokyo Then and Now" (pp. 20-29), and Kawamoto Saburo, "Okubo, Ethnic Melting Pot" (pp. 73-76). [FOLDER]

#25. Th, April 16. Ma, Oku, Fûdo: Modern Notions of "Japanese Space"

READING: Gunter Nitschke, "Ma: Place, Space, and Void," Kyoto Journal, no. 8 (Fall 1988), pp. 33-39. [FOLDER]

Maki, Fumihiko, "The City and Inner Space," Japan Echo 6/1 (1979), pp. 91-103. [FOLDER]

Augustin Berque, "Some Traits of Japanese Fûdosei ," Japan Foundation Newsletter , 14/5 (Feb. 1987), pp. 1-7. [FOLDER]

#26. Tu, April 21. Western Critics Look at Tokyo

READING: Chris Fawcett, The New Japanese House, pp. 9-16, 26-40. [Avery Reserve AA7451 F28 or Starr FOLDER]

J. M. Richards, "Lessons from the Japanese Jungle," in Gwen Bell and Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, Human Identity in the Urban Environment (Penguin Books, 1972), pp. 590-594. [FOLDER]

Peter Popham, Tokyo: The City at the End of the World (Kodansha, 1985), pp. 35-53. [FOLDER]

OPTIONAL: Roland Barthes, Empire of Signs, trans. Richard Howard, pp. 30-42. [FOLDER]

#27. Th, April 23. Japanese Architects Respond

READING: Hiroshi Watanabe, Amazing Architecture from Japan (Weatherhill, 1991), pp. 6-21, 44-49, 56-61, 104-109, 122-133. [Avery Shelf #308 or Starr FOLDER]

Botond Bognar, The New Japanese Architecture (Rizzoli, 1990), pp. 182-211. [Avery Reserve AA697 B633]

Peter Popham, "Nature in the Blighted City: The Residential Architecture of Tadao Ando," Japan Society Newsletter 31/7 (Feb. 1984), pp. 2-5, and Kenneth Frampton, ed., Tadao Ando: Buildings Projects Writings (Rizzoli, 1984), pp. 24-29. [Both in same FOLDER under "Ando, Tadao"].