Akiyama, Aisaburo. Shinto and its Architecture, Tokyo: Tokyo
News Service, Ltd. 1955.
Even though the original text is fairly old, the information is
still accurate. The book explains not only the architecture of Shinto,
but also the basic ideas and beliefs behind the religion. It also
analyzes in depth the history and development of various aspects of
Shinto architecture such as the torii and the roof styles. It does not
go into detail about the specific Shinto shrines, but it does give a
very nice overview.
Alex, William. Japanese Architecture, New York: George Braziller,
Japanese Architecture is a small and concise text that covers the
many different architectural styles and elements from the earliest
inhabitants that had crossed over from Korea during the Stone Age, right
up until the beginning of the Modern Period. Much of the text also
emphasizes how the architecture is a response to the effects of nature.
Blaser, Werner. Japanese Temples and Tea-Houses, New York: F.W.
Dodge Corporation. 1956.
Blaser's approach in this book is to attempt to convey the Japanese
spirit that is expressed in its temples and tearooms and to see how
they can influence Western architectural styles. The book also explains
how the architectural structure and the space co-exist seamlessly in the
architecture of Japanese temples and teahouses. Much of the book is
composed of images followed by brief captions.
Blaser, Werner. Structure and Form in Japan: Architectural
Reflections, New York: Wittenborn and Company. 1963.
With the belief that Japanese architecture is born out of an
integration of man, nature, material and the creative will, the
author attempts to show how they are coordinated in terms of three
traits that he believes are prevalent in Japanese architecture:
Sensibility, Flexibility and Integration.
Cram, Ralph Adams. Impressions of Architecture and the Allied Arts.
New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 1966.
The author of this book speaks glowingly about Japanese architecture
but lacks the true insight about the architecture of Japan. Considered
one of the first westerners to write about the architecture of Japan,
his first impressions are very interesting and allow for an obviously
impartial look at the art and architecture of Japan.
Drexler, Arthur. The Architecture of Japan, New York: The
Museum of Modern Art by Arno Press. 1966.
This book presents Japanese architecture first as buildings
influenced by nature and religion, then by how they are put together and
finally by a review of the buildings considered architectural
masterpieces by the Japanese themselves. The key to the buildings chosen
to be reviewed by Drexler coincides directly with how they have
influenced Western architecture in the 20th century, particularly the
Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe.
Frampton, Kenneth, Kunio Kudo. Japanese Building Practice From
Ancient Times to the Meiji Period. New York: Von Nostradand
This book is on the history of development of building techniques in Japanese architecture. It covers
the practice of architecture from the beginning of the Buddhist age up
to the Meiji era. Frampton discusses the techniques and materials used
in the ancient practices of buildings while Kudo discusses more of the
modern aspect of Japanese building practices.
Hibi, Sadao. Japanese Detail Architecture, San Francisco:
Chronicle Books. 1989
A book that contains a collection of photos that focus on the
architectural details in Japanese architecture. It contains images of
doors, ornaments, roofs, windows, gates, screens and many other elements
Inoue, Mitsuo. Space in Japanese Architecture, New York:
Weatherhill, Inc. 1985.
The author in this book attempts to find an understanding of the
space of historical Japanese architecture according to their plans and
spatial arrangement. The purpose of his studies was to
focus more on the aesthetics and theory behind the architecture of
Japan; something that up until that point, was something rarely
discussed. Therefore, the book basically discusses how tacit aesthetic
understanding of the Japanese has influenced the architectural space.
Kidder, Edward. Japanese Temples. London: Thames and Hudson,
This book is an attempt by the author to expand the information
available in English about Japanese temples. He believes that not enough
emphasis is placed on the history and the actual function of the
temples. Kidder wants to explain how the temple symbolizes the
aspirations, struggles and the power of the religion and art of Japan.
He uses many large photos and a very accurate and concise text to carry
his message across.
Mason, Penelope. History of Japanese Art.
New York: Harry N. Abrams. Inc. 1993
This book covers not only Japanese art, but also
Japanese architecture. It covers both simultaneously in order to show
the interaction between the art and the architecture of Japan. While the
text is mostly about the ancient arts of Japan, such as paintings,
drawings, sculptures and prints, it also has a significant amount of
information about various temples that are well known for the artifacts
that they hold.
Masuda, Tomoya. Living Architecture: Japanese, New York:
Grosset & Dunlap. 1970
The text by Masuda is not necessarily a historical account of the
architecture of Japan, but rather an account of the ancient structures
that exist today, the reasons they were built, how they were built and
why they were built. It takes a much different approach to the study of
Japanese architecture where parallels are found not in the period in
which they were built, but in the how and why they were built regardless
of the date of construction.
Murata, Jiro. The Golden Pavilion, Japan Architect, 90-97,
March 1963; 86-93, April 1963.
This is a two-part article about the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) in
Kyoto. Murata researches the design and evolution of the uses of the
pavilion from its start as a pleasure palace for the shogun Ashikaga
Yoshimitsu to its use as a priests quarter.
Murata, Jiro. Kinkaku in Rokuon-ji Temple Compound, Sinkentiku,
13-17, May 1956.
An article in Japanese discussing the history of
the Kinkaku-ji temple and the temple compound that surrounds it.
Nishi, Kazuo and Kazuo Hozumi. What is Japanese Architecture?
New York: Kodansha International. 1985.
This book divides the architecture of Japan by their different uses.
There is a section on places of worship, residential and urban
architecture, castles and the architecture for pleasure. It notes the
great contradictions between the different architecture of Japan;
sometimes very large and expansive and yet other times very small almost
Omori, Kenji. Jisho-ji, Silver Pavilion, Japan Architect,
86-95, Nov 1965
An article detailing the history and use of Ginkaku-ji, or the Silver
Pavilion. It includes not only text and images, but also scale plans and
elevations of the pavilion and temple complex.
Omori, Kenji. The Buddha Hall of Jisho-ji, Japan Architect,
85-93 Dec 1965.
A follow up article of the article Jisho-ji, Silver Pavilion,
that goes into further detail of the main temple complex as opposed to
just the Silver Pavilion. It includes not only text but also scale
plans, sections and elevations.
Pain, R. T. The Art and Architecture of Japan, New York:
This volume contains both a chronological history of first the art
and sculptures of Japan followed by the history of Japanese
architecture. It distinguishes between religious and secular
architecture of the various time periods from the pre-Buddhist age up
until the Edo period.
Richie, Donald and Alexandre Georges. The
Temples of Kyoto. Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Company. 1995.
This book covers only the temples around Kyoto,
but because it is so specific, there is a great deal of information
about the temples. While it does not cover every temple in Kyoto, it
does introduce the reader the many well known and significant temples
with a history and description of the architecture. It does not have any
plans or elevations, just images printed on a very nice glossy paper.
Sadler, A.L. A Short History of Japanese Architecture, Tokyo,
Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Company. 1962.
Sadler's text is broken up first by the various periods of
beginning with the era before the introduction of Buddhism, up to the
Edo period; just prior to modern Japan. The history is then followed up
with other details of the architecture that revolve more around the
lifestyle as opposed to just the chronological history. The text is not
so much a review of how the spaces were arranged but more of how the
period in which the buildings were constructed influenced the style and
need for those particular buildings.
Soper, Alexander. The Evolution of Buddhist Architecture in Japan.
New York: Hacker Art Books, 1979.
Even though much of the material for this book was gathered in the
1930s, the information is still relevant because this book is about
the Buddhist architecture from the Asuka period up until the Edo period.
Soper analyzes the architecture by dividing each of the periods into the
various architectural styles and elements, such as temples and doors,
and describing how they developed during that period of historical
Suzuki, Kakichi. Early Buddhist Architecture in Japan. Tokyo:
Kodansha Intl. Ltd. 1980.
This book summarizes the ideas behind the
evolution of early traditional Buddhist
architecture in Japan. It begins during the Asuka
period (593 AD) when Buddhism began to develop. The text only covers the
ancient period of Japanese history, from 593 to the end of the Heian
period in 1184 because the author feels that the topic is so broad that
it cannot fully be covered in one small concise edition. Suzuki covers
everything from the layout of temple compounds, construction techniques
in addition to explaining the evolution of the temple.
Weinstein, Stanley. "Ginkaku-ji." Kodansha Encyclopedia
of Japan, volume 4, Tokyo: Kodansha Limited, 1983. pg 33.
A brief synopsis of the Silver Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan. A very short
article on its history and development.
Weinstein, Stanley, "Kinkaku-ji." Kodansha Encyclopedia
of Japan, volume 3, Tokyo: Kodansha Limited, 1983.
A brief synopsis of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, Japan, it's a very
short article on its history development.