Post-War Japanese Architecture


Fall 2012

Kunio Kudo, instructor

‘The country is destroyed; yet mountains and rivers remain same. Spring comes to the city; with full grass and trees again.’  Toho


The United State’s loss of the Pacific War was unprecedented, but the Japanese one was far beyond it both in built infrastructure and human casualties. Devastation was not limited to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama and Kobe. Smaller local cities flared up with napalms from B29 carpet-bombing night after night. Tokyo’s causalities were said to be between 150,000 to 200,000 on the night of March 10, 1945 alone, but those numbers continue to be disputed as too conservative. Cities and infrastructures were completely flattened and children walked the streets barefoot. The homes that survived were clouded with shared families.

This seminar examined the postwar Japanese Ash to Diamond saga in architecture and urbanism. A country once devastated by war, stood up to rebuild its land, cities, people and new architecture. The current events of Japan were also covered, following the horrific aftermath of the Tohoku Great Earthquake on March 11, 2011.