Imagine a rowhouse whose courtyard separates the kitchen from the bedroom. Or a tiny, triangular tower of rooms stacked one above another. Quirky, experimental, and utterly fascinating, the houses produced in Japan since the end of World War II are among the most exceptional in the world, and they are also family homes. The Japanese House Since 1945 is a cohesive chronology of iconic Japanese houses, presenting the most compelling architect-designed homes to show developments in form, material, architectural expression, and family living over almost eight decades.
Unparalleled in their conceptual purity, many Japanese houses have become icons at home as well as abroad. Presented with clear prose and accompanied by photographs and drawings, the book features ninety-seven houses, divided among nine chapters and organized by decade. In addition to acquainting the reader with individual homes, the book illuminates the social, technological, geographic, and historical factors behind these epoch-making houses. Developments over the period are underscored by the visual presentation, as it evolves from monochrome to color and from hand-drawn to digital. Decade lead-ins set the historical context for each chapter, while “Spotlight” segments draw attention to the separate components of the Japanese house. “At Home” sections, most authored by architects and their family members, bring to life the experience of living in these unique houses.
This book examining Japanese residential architecture in detail from 1945 onwards can be said to be a realistic history of post-war Japanese society, as seen through the filter of architectural design… The chain of creativity that began in the architectural world of post-war Japan remains unbroken—this book conveys that sense of hope.
— Tadao Ando, from his Foreword
Fascinating… [Captures] beautiful images of some of the country's most innovative homes, as well as architectural drawings, resident interviews, and descriptions of the circumstances surrounding their construction.
Excellent… Traces the evolution of single-family houses across eight decades, focusing as much on the people who live(d) in the houses than the architects who designed them… [Naomi Pollock's] most important and best book to date… Compelling and vivid.
— A Weekly Dose of Architecture Books
Naomi Pollock is an American architect, journalist, and author who writes about design and architecture in Japan. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Pacific. A special international correspondent for Architectural Record, Naomi has written several books on Japanese houses and architects and is the author of Japanese Design Since 1945.