Invitation to Japanese Architecture(“Nihon no kenchiku”)
1959 / English / Color / 35mm / 20 min
Director: Kamei Fumio
Planning: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Production Company: Nichiei Kagaku Eiga Co.,Ltd.
Source: National Film Center
One of a series of Ministry of Foreign Affairs films introducing Japan to the world. As the example of the Wind and Thunder Gods (fujin raijin) makes clear, Japanese architecture has a deep connection to nature. Rooms are marked by shoji paper windows and fusuma sliding screens, and if these are taken off then the garden appears and the interior becomes one with nature. Using examples from Todaiji, Horyuji, Toshodaiji, Byodoin, Tofukuji and Sanjusangen-do temples and from the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, the film introduces the characteristics and designs of roofs, walls, pillars and other architecture features. After showing such traditional architectural forms as tokonoma decorative alcoves, teahouses, the ceiling paintings at Nishi-Honganji temple, the rock garden at Ryoanji temple, the garden and fusuma-e paintings on wall panels at Ginkakuji temple and a farmhouse in Nara, the film presents the construction sites of modern buildings built with steel and concrete.