You are on page 1of 6


Instructor: Prof. Ikumi Kaminishi

Office: Department of Art & Art History, 11 Talbot Ave.
Contact: (617) 627-2424 or
Office hours: Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 pm or by appointment

Spring 2013

Room: TISCH 314

Time: Tu/Th. 4:30-5:45 pm

Description of the Course:

This course explores the concepts of nature, time, and space in Japan, using major architectural
traditions. Emphasis is not only on the styles of Japanese architecture, but also on historical
contexts that are part of the whole plan. First we examine the aesthetic and philosophical concepts
of time and space (ma, in Japanese). Then we explore various actual sites and monuments. Finally
we reconsider the stereotypical images of Japanese culture that architecture helped build in the
West. The material covers from pre-Buddhist times to the contemporary age, which includes
religious institutions (Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples), aristocratic residences, teahouses and
gardens, and modern buildings.
Learning Objectives:
To familiarize with visual arts and cultures of Japan.
To develop an ability to analyze, interpret, and write on visual works of art.
To learn to contextualize cultural and historical significance of Japanese architecture.
Critical thinking ability in response to scholarly literature.
Students are expected to learn and analyze:
Aesthetics concepts of space and time
History, language and styles of Japanese landscape and culture

Requirements and policies:

The completion of all exams and papers
Attend two events:
March 11: The talk by Zen priest, Rev. Shugen Arnold
April 3: Tea Ceremony by Urasenke tea instructor, Kyoko Wada
Mandatory class attendance
Late papers will be downgraded by a third of a full grade each day.
Distribution of Grading for FAH/REL: 15
1. Mid-term examination (25%)
2. A short paper (2-3 pages) (15%)
3. Final examination (30%)
4. Group project: teahouse design presentation and paper (4-5 pages) (30%)
Distribution of Grading for FAH/REL: 115
1. Mid-term examination (25%)
2. A short paper (2-3 pages) (15%)
3. Final examination (20%)
4. Research paper (8 pages for undergraduate; 10-12 pages for graduates) (30%)
5. Oral presentation of research paper (10%)
Books on Tisch Library Reserve
SB458 .B4713 2000
NA9050.5 .C63 1996
N8193.3.P8 F8413
CT2910 .H338 1979
SB458 .H3813
N7353.4 .J39 1996
DS881.9 .H87
NA1537.I5313 1998
NA7758.K94 K38
NA1559.I79 I8 1996
ND2071 .K3513
NA1553 .K5
N7350 .M26 1993
NC1764.5.J3 J37
NC1766.J32 M5736
NA1550 .N87 2004
N7350 .P3 1981
NE1325.K3 A4
SB458 .S66 1987
NA6053.2 .S8913
SB458 .T334 2001
(PDF copy)

Berthier, Franois
Coaldrake, William.
Fukuyama, Toshio.
Hayahira, Seizo.
Hayakawa, Masao.
Hickman, Money, ed.
Hunter, Janet
Inaji, Toshiro
Isozaki, Arata et. al.
Isozaki, Arata.
Kanazawa, Hiroshi
Kirby, John B.
Mason, Penelope.
MacWilliams, Mark
McCarthy, Helen
Nute, Kevin
Paine & Soper.
Asian Art Mus., SF
Slawson, David.
Suzuki, Kakichi.
Takei, Jiro
Tanaka, Ichimatsu
Varley, Paul
Isozaki, Arata, et. al.

Reading Zen in the rocks

Architecture and Authority in Japan
Heian Temples: Byodoin & Chusonji
Chanoyu: Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Garden Art of Japan
Japans Golden Age
The Emergence of Modern Japan
Garden as architecture (Teien to jukyo...)
Katsura imperial villa
The island nation aesthetic
Early Zen Masterpieces
From castle to teahouse
History of Japanese Art
Japanese visual culture
Hayao Miyazaki
Place, time, and being in Japanese Architecture
The art and architecture of Japan
Hokusai and Hiroshige
Secret Teachings in Art of Japanese Gardens
Early Buddhist architecture in Japan
Shubun to Sesshu
Japanese Culture
Ma. (Exhibition catalogue; copy on

Online visual database and sources

1. TRUNK: Some selected images from the lectures are posted periodically.

Oxford Art Online: Extensive Art History encyclopedia


ARTSTORE: digital image library

4. Dictionary of Japanese art historical and architectural terminology

Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System (JAANUS)

SCHEDULE (Subject to change)

Part I.

Read the assigned readings before class (exc. 1/17)

Concept of Space and Time (ma): Sacred Places


Introduction: ma and Shinto Shrines

Topic: Nature, material, climate
Peruse later: Nishi&Hozumi (N&H): What is Japanese Architecture?: 7-13, 40-43,
and 54-55.





Shinto: Making of Sacred Ise Shrine

1. Coaldrake, William. Ise Jingu, Asian Art, eds. by Brown and Hutton.
Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006. [PDF ON TRUNK]
2. Adams, Cassandra. Japans Ise Shrine and Its Thirteen-Hundred-YearOld Reconstruction Tradition. Journal of Architectural Education, Vol.
52, No. 1 (1998): 49-60. [JSTOR]

What is Ma?
1. Isozaki, Arata. Exhibition catalogue, MA. [PDF on TRUNK]
2. Pilgrim, Richard. Intervals (MA) in Space and Time, History of
Religions, Vol. 25, No. 3 (1986): 255-277. [JSTOR]
Recommended: Nute, Kevin. Place, time, and being..., chapter 1

PART II. Passage of time: Gardens for Zen and Tea

1/29, 31

Topic: HoryujiBasic Buddhist Architecture

Read: 1. N&H. What is Japanese Architecture?: 14-17 and 36-39.
2. Paine & Soper. Japanese Art and Architecture, Chap. 18, Buddhist Architecture
Recommended: Mason, Penelope. History of Japanese Art, 33-51.

2/5, 7


Buddhist poetics of transience and Zen Temples

1. N&H, 22-33, 106-109.
2. Yoshida, Kenko. The Ten Foot Square Hut, translation by A. L. Sadler
(Read only the Section 1, page 1-20)
3. Wicks, Robert. The Idealization of Contingency in Traditional Japanese
Aesthetics, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 39, No. 3 (2005),
88-101. [JSTOR]
Recommended: Keene, Donald. Japanese Aesthetics, Philosophy East and West,
Vol. 9, No. 3 (1969), 293-306. [JSTOR]; and Saito, Yuriko. The Japanese
Aesthetics of Imperfection and Insufficiency, The Journal of Aesthetics
and Art Criticism, Vol. 55, No. 4 (1997): 377-385. [JSTOR]


Recommended submission of paper draft (finished and edited version only)

Topic: Shoin zukuri: The Tearoom of Silver Pavilion
Read: 1. Ito, Teiji. The Development of Shoin-Style Architecture, in Hall, John
and Takeshi, Toyoda, eds. Japan in the Muromachi Age. [PDF on
Recommended: Kondo, Dorinne. The Way of Tea, Man, New series, Vol. 20, No. 2
(19850, 287-306. [JSTOR]; and Berthier, Franois. Reading Zen in the Rocks.


GROUP MEETING (no formal class)


PAPER (SHORT) DUE [email attachment is accepted by end of day]

Topic: Shinden zukuri: Heian Imperial Palace and Fujiwara mansion
Read: 1. N&H, 18-21, and 56-69
2. Takei, Teiji. Sakuteiki [TISCH RESERVE; excerpts (PDF) on TRUNK]


No class (Monday schedule)



2/28, 3/5


Phoenix Hall
Yiengpruksawan, Mimi. The Phoenix Hall at Uji and the Symmetries of
Replication The Art Bulletin, V. 77, No. 4 (1995): 647-672. [JSTOR]

Sukiya zukuri: Katsura Detached Palace

1. Nishi&Hozumi, 78-81, 106, and 132-135.
2. Gropius. Walter. Architecture in Japan, Perspecta, Vol. 3 (1955): 980. [JSTOR]
3. Tanizaki, Junichiro. In Praise of Shadows
Recommended: Arata Isozaki et. al. Katsura imperial villa




Group meeting #2: Compose your proposal, compile bibliography: Submit the
project proposal on 3/7

PART III. Architecture and Political Power

Mon., 3/11, 12:00

Dharma talk: Shugen Arnold, Sensei and Abbot of the Mountains and
Rivers Order, NY
Mandatory attendance (legitimate excuse must be submitted prior to the
talk); bring friends (free admission)

3/12, 14


Samurai castles
1. Nishi&Hozumi, 70-77 and 88-104.
2. Tkayanagi, Shunichi. Review: The Glory That was Azuchi,
Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 32, No. 4 (1977): 515-524. [JSTOR]
3. Stephen Turnbull, Japanese Castles 1540-1640
4. Gerhart, Karen. Honcho Gashi and Painting Programs, Ars
Orientalis, Vol 27 (1997): 67-97. [JSTOR]
Recommended: Coaldrake, William. Edo Architecture and Tokugawa Law,
Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 36, No. 3 (1981): 235-284. [JSTOR]

3/19, 21


PART IV. Architecture and Modernity

3/26, 28

Topic: Architecture for the new monarch

Read: 1. Coaldrake, William. Building the Meiji State, Architecture and
Authority, 208-150. [PDF on TRUNK]
2. Watanabe, Toshio. Josiah Conders Rokumeikan, Art Journal, Vol.
55, No. 3, Japan 1868-1945 (1996): 21-27.
3. Wendelken, Cherie. The Techtonics of Japanese Style, Art Journal,
Vol. 55, No. 3, Japan 1868-1945 (1996): 28-37.
1. Finn, Dallas. Meiji Revisited
2. Castle. Modernism and modernization in architecture

4/2, 4


Topic: Modern Architecture and Tange Kenzo
Read: 1. Coaldrak, William. Architecture and Authority in Japan PP. 251-277.

Wed. 4/3, 6:00pm

Tea Ceremony with Mrs. Kyoko Wada, Urasenke tea instructor

4/4, 9

Topic: Contemporary Architecture: Tadao Ando and Arata Isozaki

Read: 1. Takeyama, Kiyoshi. Tadao Ando: Heir to a Tradition, Perspecta, Vol.
20 (1983), 163-180 [JSTOR]

4/11, 16, 18



Presentations and review



APPENDIX: Chronology of Japan

10,500-300 B.C.E. Jomon Period
300 B.C.E.-300 C.E. Yayoi Period
300 - 710 C.E.
Kofun Period
552 - 645
Asuka Period (Imperial capital in Asuka; Buddhist introduction)
645 - 794
Nara Period (Imperial capital in Nara)
794 - 1185
Heian Period (Imperial capital in Heian, present Kyoto)
1185 - 1333
Kamakura Period (Minamoto Shogunate in Kamakura)
1333 - 1573
Muromachi Period (Ashikaga Shogunate in Muromachi)
1573 - 1615
Momoyama Period (Warring-states)
1615 - 1868
Edo Period (Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo, present Tokyo)
1868 - 1912
Meiji Period (Emperor Meijis reign; capital from Kyoto to Tokyo)
1912 - 1926
Taisho Period
1926 - 1989
Showa Period
1989 - present
Heisei Period