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UAL Research Online

Japanese Imperial Architecture: From Thomas Roger Smith to Itô Chûta

Watanabe, Toshio (2006) Japanese Imperial Architecture: From Thomas Roger Smith to Itô Chûta. In: Challenging past and present : the metamorphosis of nineteenth-century Japanese art. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii, pp. 240-253. ISBN 0824829379, 9780824829377

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Watanabe, Toshio

This paper forms part of my investigation of Japanese art within a transnational context pursued over more than 30 years. More recently I have consolidated this position by setting up the UAL Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN) where 9 core members are researching issues in transnational art.

Hitherto most of the publications on transnational art concentrated on bilateral relationships. However, in this paper I am including India within the debate on the relationship between Japan and Britain. This innovative tripartite approach, here between Britain, India and Japan, was pioneered by the AHRC-funded major research project (2001-2005) investigating the issue of modernity and national identity in the art of India, Japan and Mexico where I was the principal investigator.

In this paper I am tracing the genealogy of the theory of imperial architecture from Thomas Roger Smith, the British architectural theorist and an expert on building in India, to Josiah Conder, his pupil and the ‘father’ of modern Japanese architecture, and to Itô Chûta, Conder’s pupil and the most prolific architect of the Japanese Empire. Within the scholarship of the theory of Japanese architecture, this is the first attempt to define ‘Japanese imperial architecture’ whether in English or Japanese. I am showing how certain ambivalent attitudes of Roger Smith were inherited by Conder, who in his turn taught Itô who had a more independent attitude towards British imperialism in architecture. Nevertheless, for all three architects, India played a key role in their architectural development both in theory and practice. Using contemporary documentation both in English and Japanese this paper is aimed to make a contribution to the burgeoning debate on the Japanese imperialism and the arts.

Official Website: http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/cart/shopcore/?db_name=uhpress&page=shop/flypage&product_id=4261&category_id=b3e6237d1b1b3b8594488ed1c40d0dfb&PHPSESSID=3ee4b889317532ffa5bb62529bff200c
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: University of Hawaii Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 2006
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 12:57
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2011 14:11
Item ID: 803
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/803

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