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A Fragmented Man’yōshū:

Horiguchi Sutemi’s Plan for a Total Man’yō Park in Yugawara

Naomi Kuromiya

June 8, 2023


Room 301, 3F, Building 10, Sophia University

In person only/No registration required

Horiguchi Sutemi (1895-1984), one of the most respected modern architects in Japan, is known for his buildings designed in the modernist International Style and in the sukiya style—a type of native Japanese wooden architecture. This talk discusses his 1955 design for Man’yō Kōen, a park meant to bring to life the Man’yōshū, the oldest collection of Japanese poetry. Horiguchi’s ambitious plan envisioned a total representation of the Man’yōshū, created with a thatched-roof teahouse, a concrete exhibition hall, a vermilion bridge, a shrine, and a lush array of poetic flora. Although the plan was only partially realized and is forgotten within modern Japanese architectural history, Man’yō Park pushes us to see the historical relevance of projects that were, ultimately, unsuccessful. This talk examines the incomplete design as an important record of experimental postwar architecture, and as the fragmented result of Horiguchi’s impulse toward a total architectural expression.

Naomi Kuromiya is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and is currently a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University. Her dissertation examines the phenomenon of the total artwork in early-to-mid twentieth-century Japanese art and architecture, and focuses on multimedia projects that united modernist forms of expression with traditional artistic practices.

This talk is organized by Noriko Murai (Professor of Art History, Sophia University)

Photo: Horiguchi Sutemi. Manyō-tei (exterior). Constructed 1955. Manyō Park, Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture.


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