Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Influences of Japanese Design on Western Architecture

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1868 words Published: 23rd Jul 2018

Reference this

In what ways did the Traditional Architecture and Design of Japan Influence Western Architecture at the turn of the Twentieth Century?

Japanese architecture was begun in 57 B.C. Before this time period the majority structures were pit dwellings. In early times Japan’s architecture was influenced by Korean architecture. The Korean historian have given evidence at time of 57 and 665 B.C in creating original buildings. At that time they built stones which includes Iksan and Miruka. Timber buildings were also made at that time. They were found in underground caves of Samschlich-ong, Yodongsonach’ong, and Yaksuri.

The Japanese architecture tradition is based on the wooden structures of timber, for making Japan attractive they have used little stones for carving. The Japan in the fifth century was fully developed of wood. Architects have designed with gables, saddle roofs, styles and designs. Because the Islands of Japanese architecture are of volcainic origin.

The best examples of Japanese architecture is the shrines of the Shinto . After every twenty years they rebuilt these shirnes , the most famous shrine is The Ise Shrine (55 x 127 yards) of the Shinto shrine. Its columns made up from cypress trees , four concentric fences, and the traditional thatched roof, it conveys the message of simplicity and purity.

The styles of shrines shows both modern and domestic architecture , the Western architecture were fully influenced from Japanese Architecture. The history of architecture is interesting ,but the Tadao Ando designs forced to undergo Japanese architecture. The westerns has followed their way of structure.



The Japanese architecture is characterized from wooden single storey structure. The main lacking of this tradition is the cave dwellings and stone walls, the nation has not changed their traditional style . In the mid of sixth century ,the Buddhist architecture entered in Japan from China and Korea. The shrine architecture is regarded by the Buddhist architecture which represents the typical wooden single storey structure.

The wooden structure is based on posts and beams, its structure from inside is dark that does not suits the human being, the Japanese architecture allows light and breeze, so that there outside area is opened.





According to the western techniques, material and the styles into Meiji Japan was based on steel and concrete structure. In modern sky scrapers, Japan played an important role because of its familiarity with the cantilever principle to support the heavy tiled temple roofs. Frank Lloyd Wright was fully influenced by Japanese arrangements ideas of interior and exterior spaces, the opening walls of Japan are made up from sliding doors. In the twentieth century the domestic and religious architecture was in Japenese style. The beauty of modern cities sky scrapers was crowded by Tokyo’s skyline and the total process reflects the western modern forms.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

After the world war two the urban planning and reconstruction has produced the major architects such as like Maekawa Kunio and Tange Kenzo. Maekawa, the first person who supported Maekawa concept was Charles LeCorbusier , who has full command on modern works.Tange also supported Maekawa and inspire them on Japanese aesthetic ideas into contemporary buildings and the concept of tatamai flooring (sleeping mats) and the textures they were using was brightening the existing ferroconcrete , steel , gardens , sculptures into designs. In a pillar and beam system Tanga has used the cantilever principle for awakening the ancient palaces, the pillar -a hallmark

Was a foundation of Japanese historical tradition which is built on timber construction. New city planning was thought by Maki Fumihiko who gave suggestions on the principles of cocooning around an inner space(oku) ,the needs were adopted from urban side. He backed the ideas of Buddhist which is based on the Japanese aesthetic principle and also favored to use the empty spaces (ma). Japanese aesthetic principle was supposed to be based on the Maki designs, which puts attention towards the view of garden and on the sky lines. The architectural concept was changed in 1970 on the “metabolism ” of exchange , they understand the functions of parts of buildings which strongly influenced them.

In 1970s and 1980s, the architect Isozaki Arata was a student of Tanga but his theory was focused on LeCorbusier traditions , turned his attention towards the geometric shapes and cubic silhouettes. He formed western technology building to modernize Japan with new styles. In 1980s again a change came to influence their designs and extend it.

In the end of 1970s and 1980s they introduced the metaphycisal concepts to reexamine the geometrical shapes to produce fancy architectural designs. They made experiments on Ando Tada style of structure and balanced to modern formula. The building provides a variety of things ehich includes light soruces , glass bricks and opening up of spaces to the outside air. The inner courtyards was adopted by traditional Osaka houses, the urban architecture uses open staircases,and bridges for good atmostphere and standard living.

In 1980s his ideas were existing, the buildings were built on open courtyards with terrace spaces, pedestrian walking and built bridges to connect buildings. The third Architecture was awarded, France’s Prix de l’Académie d’Architecture in 1989 .

Japanese architecture was liked by all over the world , because of its modern techniques and styles . Japanese architecture also introduced industrial materials, and a developed awareness of ecological and topographical problems.

Tatamai Mats paper doors



U.S. Library of Congress



The large roofs of Japanese architecture is built on horizontal axis and its low profile of shows its presence. It is an achievement of japan that these types of roofs are also present in Asia. In Japan this trend is not because of its climate but ,because of its building structure.

In the nineteenith century Japanese were living in single -storey , but when they saw that western are living in two -storey houses .They also started to live in two -storey houses and taller houses. The architects also turned towards facades. In the early twentieth century it was a wake up call for European countries to turned towards Japanese architecture which is based on horizontal axis . The tradition of European architecture was based on vertical axix through facades , but to modernize themselves they started to develop both vertical and horizontal axis.

In twentieth century the most prominent architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005), merged Japanese architecture and mordernism ,which was acceptable by all over the world .

It was traditionally composed on the columns and beams for making paintings. Fumihiko Maki, Arata Isozaki, Kisho Kurokawa and Yoshio Taniguchi were the successor of building new designs on horizontal and vertical axis with modern Japanese architecture. At present time Toyo Ito and Tadao continues to take Japanese architecture in new directions.





The definition of garden is where flowers , fruits and vegetables are cultivated but Japan is more forwarded. In 592 A.D during the reign of Empress Suiko, it is evident that the early gardens were very well developed comprises of artificial hills, ornamental pools and many more .

In the Nara period (646-794 AD), the major development occured when japan started trading with China. Chinese changed the culture of Japan and execute the gardens in the elite class of Castles. The nobleman arrange their parties in these gardens where animals, birds and fishes provide movement.

In the Heian period (794-1185 AD), the people who can afford gardens they built gardens with Japanese tradition, styles and customs. The Shinden garden is the mixture of Chinese and Japanese style, in ancient Chinese lore, the East was the source of purity and the West was the outlet of impurities.

There was no change in kamkura period in Shinden garden, Buddhist priests Zen has created garden for meditation not for entertainment. The decoration of garden was fully favor the meditative qualities which includes: stones, water and evergreens, remaining constant throughout the year. There are few types of gardens which are given below:

  1. Flat gardens
  2. Tea gardens
  3. Hill gardens


Flat gardens are built without hills and water and flat garden is also known as Hira-niwa, the garden is filled with pebbles, raked in circles , they also contains stones , trees , lanterns and many more. stones are symbols of islands. During the Edo period flat gardens are popular for their height. These types of gardens are also found in Buddhist temples. Modern flat gardens are having wells and lanternsfor the purification of gardens. These gardens are built on wood and have a system for passing water . Stones lanterns are working at night but they are not ornamental.

The Western Japanese garden Daichi shown as a flat garden.


Hill garden is also known as Tsukiyama-sansui which means water and hill .this garden is constructed on three dimensional shapes. These gardens are constructed on traditional and modern designs. Water is essential for hill gardens, they are made on two large stones for the appearance of distance. They are colourful because of its bushes and trees.Japanese hill gardens are the symbol of islands. These islands are built on stones and rocks and plants grow at its top. The designer has built a bridge on the island so they can worship on these objects. According to the philosophical point of view this garden have the essence of nature.

The Katsura garden exhibits some characteristics of a hill garden.


Tea garden plays an important role in performing tea ceremony, this ceremony is continuing for many years. Tea garden has two parts : the soto-roji (outer garden) and the uchi-roji, (inner garden). The outer garden consists of waiting area where guests waits, and the inner garden where tea is served to guest. Tea garden is built same as hill garden. The tea garden contains wash basin , resting place for the guests who attends the tea ceremony.

The outer portion of garden is decorated with trees and plants which shows the symbol of peace. At present time tea garden contains flowers stones and elegant designs which attracts towards the people. The Japanese tea garden is famous all over the world .

The tea house of Shugakuin is the heart of the garden’s design.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: