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The beginning of Western architecture in Japan 1

Japan was in the national isolation policy, except the Netherlands, for more than 200 years from 1639. Meanwhile, in the United States and Europe, the industrial revolution that began around the middle of the 18th century has seen remarkable developments in commerce and industry. As a result, great powers such as the United Kingdom, France and the United States sought colonies in the East to develop new markets.

The influence also spread to Japan and the US forced Japan to open. Finally, in 1854, the US-Japan Peace Treaty required by the US was concluded and the country was opened.


More than a thousand years ago, Japanese architecture was Buddhistic style, influenced by architectural styles and techniques that came from China with Buddhism. Then, Japanese wooden architecture has matured and Japanese wooden architecture evolved by reflecting Chinese style again around 1500, and localization and diversification advanced.

In the 1600s, a castle town was formed and the townscape was formed. In the mid-1800s mortar wall buildings and plaster wall buildings were spread in response to frequent fires.


After opening the country in 1854, the government started the construction of a Western factory. Architectural experts came to Japan to guide construction.

Steel mills and silk mills were built, and brick manufacturing methods spread throughout the country. In the foreign settlements where the port opened, exotic buildings such as houses, trading houses and churches attracted the attention of people. (To be continued)