It is well known that Edward S. Morse and Bruno Taut wrote books about Japanese architecture, and that Frank Lloyd Wright was much impressed by the Japanese pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The latter also incorporated Japanese elements into his architecture, making afterwards several trips to Japan. What in Japanese architecture made it so attractive to these visitors from the West after the Meiji Restoration? Also, did japonisants, those European and American aficionados of ukiyo-e and Japanese craft objects, turn their attention to the country’s architecture as well? How were the characteristics of Japanese architecture understood and incorporated into the Western built environment, exercising what kind of influence on the birth of modernist architecture? 

Conversely, while Japanese architecture was presented in numerous world fairs, what did the Japanese themselves do in order to promulgate it abroad? Further, how conscious are such internationally active Japanese architects as Andō Tadao, SANAA and Kuma Kengo about the specifically Japanese features in their designs, and how are they appreciated in the West? 

The 2020 edition of the Society for the Study of Japonisme International Symposium seeks to examine these East/ West encounters and their consequences, including surprise, learning and adaptation, in terms of both architectural designs and ideas to which architectural spaces give rise. 

Link to the Society for the Study of Japonism and details about the symposium