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Friday The Shinkenchiku Library

Book I, Introduction: Architecture of the Shōwa Era

The Shinkenchiku Library is a new weekly series on au-magazine that introduces out-of-print publications from the Shinkenchiku-Sha archive.

First published as a Shinkenchiku Extra Edition in December 1975 – 50 years since Shinkenchiku was first published in August 1925 – “建築昭和史”, or “Architecture of the Shōwa Era”, was later published in March 1977 as a standalone book. Supervised by the architect Hiroshi Sasaki, this book covers the last 50 years of Japanese architecture (1925 to 1975) divided into 7 chapters (periods) and was published with an overview by Mr. Sasaki himself.

We begin this series by introducing Book I – Architecture of the Shōwa Era, which we will cover over 8 web installments.

Following high economic growth in the Shōwa period, Japan entered a stable and mature phase of development. The Japanese architecture industry, having been a driving force for economic prosperity, began to attract worldwide attention as well.

In the preface, Mr. Sasaki said, “Above all, the enthusiasm and diligence of the people who have dedicated themselves to the creative activities of architecture must be evaluated”, and, “although the typical designs of Japan have attained international standards, (we have to remember that) Japanese architecture is an outcome of special elements ranging from general design trends to social characteristics.”

The aim of this book is described to explain the importance of looking back on the past for the future development of the Japanese architectural world.

To read an original text excerpt (in Japanese) from Architecture of the Shōwa Era, please visit

Coming up next week, we will introduce Chapter 1: The Status between 1925 to 1930.