Streets, Buildings, and Gardens: Japanese Culture in Constructed Artifacts
Winter Study Abroad: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Naoshima

A Wintermester Program, Streets, Buildings, and Gardens: Japanese Culture in Constructed Artifacts, in Japan for two weeks in January 2019 is offered by the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech to all A+D students.

Faculty Member of Record: Prof. Aki Ishida
Course Credits: 3 credits
Type: Off-campus

Learning Objectives/Indicators

All course content and associated research will be directed to advance first-hand knowledge of the architecture and built environment of Japan. The principal learning objective is to study architecture and the urban artifact in an aboard cultural and non-Western context (NAAB Student Performance Criteria # 9: Non-Western Traditions: Understanding of parallel and divergent canons and traditions of architecture and urban design in the non-Western world.)

Prerequisites: Architecture + Design students in 2nd year to post-graduate program with a desire to learn under the guidance of a teacher where a short study tour of Japan could be valuable to their growth and learning are welcome.

Curriculum/Courses offered: For architecture students, ARCH 2984 (Special Study, variable credit course, no prerequisite) or ARCH 4984 (Special Study, variable credit course, no prerequisite) are the courses offered.

Program description

This is an opportunity to see firsthand, under the guidance of a Virginia Tech faculty native to Japan, the influences that traditional Japanese architecture and landscape has had on the contemporary Japanese architecture. The students will observe and begin to identify how the Modern Japanese architects, following the destructions of World War II, endeavored to reconstruct Japan by reexamining the European Modernism and generating an architectural language that was distinct from that of the West. With a decided focus on dense urban contexts of Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka, the students will observe and analyze how traditional and contemporary urban buildings respond to and influence the surrounding site. After returning, the students will organize an exhibit in the Cowgill lobby to present their discoveries, insights, and understandings of their queries.

Credits: 3 (three) credits will be given in the School of Architecture + Design. The instructor will provide required readings for group discussions on particular interest on Japan. They will include essays by Kenzgo Kange, Kisho Kurokawa, Arata Isozaki, Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, and Toyo Ito. In additions, we will have pre-trip screenings of films set in Japan, including Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Sans Soleil by Chris Marker, and films by the director Yasujiro Ozu and Akira Kurosawa.

Travel Itinerary

In order to study Japanese architecture in dense urban contexts, we will visit the two largest metropolitan regions in Japan – Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka. The city of Tokyo suffered significant damages in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and the World War II bombing raids. It is a city in which a large portion was rebuilt following 1945. This provides a fascinating context in which to examine the impact of radical thinking of Modern Japanese architects, including Kenzo Tange and Kisho Kurokawa. In the recent economic boom, Tokyo region was the site of many acclaimed buildings by both domestic and international architects including the Yokohama International Passenger Terminal and the Tokyo International Forum.

The ancient capital of Kyoto, unlike Tokyo, was protected from the air raids of the war. As a result, the traditional temples, shrines, gardens, the major processional streets as well as the small side streets remain intact, as if it were a living outdoor museum. This offers a captivating environment in which to study the relationships between the streets and architecture as described by Kisho Kurokawa in his 1963 essay Architecture of the Street. Unlike the Western agoras and piazzas, the Japanese temples and buildings were built along boulevards. He explained that this organization was adopted to accommodate festivals which were the form of processions than mass assemblies in a plaza. We will examine how this relationship between the street and buildings influenced the design of facades and plans of traditional townhouses. Finally, we will see how this intimate connection between the street and building interior is manifest in buildings by Tadao Ando, an Osaka native, in the dense urbanity of Kyoto and Osaka.

Budget

In addition to tuition, the students are charged a Program Fee. Contingent on the number of students (independent of their in-state/out-of-state status), the Program Fee of $2,090 per student covers fifteen (15) days of group travel exclusive of time for travel to/from Japan. The program fee was established based on providing a minimum Western and Japanese style accommodation, secure domestic traveling, and being budget neutral between program costs (Instructional Costs, Operational Expenses, Student Program Costs, Student Scholarship and Program Indirect Costs) and number of students. The cost of international flight to/from Japan is additional, as noted in the chart below.

Students: Estimate for 16 days (based on 18 students participating)

Description

In-State (undergrad)

Out-of-State

(undergrad)

In-State

(grad)

Out-of-State

(grad)

Estimated Tuition

(3 credits.  Meets CLE Areas II, III & VII)

$1,131

$2,922

$1,746

$3,573

Program Fee (Includes lodging in Japan, group transportation within Japan, admissions, two group meals)

$2,090

$2,090

$2,090

$2,090

Meals in Japan

Allow $525+ at $35/day on average

$525

(Not Included in program fee)

$525

(Not Included in program fee)

$525

(Not Included in program fee)

$525

(Not Included in program fee)

New Passport Fee ($145)

Not

Included

Not

Included

Not

Included

Not

Included

Round trip airfare to/from Haneda Airport in Tokyo. Estimated $1,600 to/from the US.

$1,600

(Not Included in program fee)

$1,600

(Not Included in program fee)

$1,600

(Not Included in program fee)

$1,600

(Not Included in program fee)

Personal and other expenses

Not

Included

Not

Included

Not

Included

Not

Included

Total estimated (not including personal expenses and passport fee)

$5,346

$7,137

$5,961

$7,788

Schedule

Day #

Date

Day

Place

1

01.01.19

Tuesday

Travel to Japan

2

01.02.19

Wednesday

Arrive in Tokyo (Haneda Airport)

3

01.03.19

Thursday

Tokyo

4

01.04.19

Friday

Tokyo

5

01.05.19

Saturday

Tokyo

6

01.06.19

Sunday

Tokyo

7

01.07.19

Monday

Tokyo

8

01.08.19

Tuesday

Tokyo > Kyoto

9

01.09.19

Wednesday

Kyoto

10

01.10.19

Thursday

Kyoto

11

01.11.19

Friday

Kyoto > Okayama

12

01.12.19

Saturday

Naoshima,Teshima > Osaka

13

01.13.19

Sunday

Osaka

14

01.14.19

Monday

Osaka > Tokyo

15

01.15.19

Tuesday

Tokyo

16

01.16.19

Wednesday

Depart from Tokyo (Haneda Airport)

A series of ongoing formal and informal presentations will take place during the Fall semester. In addition, a series of seminars will be offered by the faculty of record to introduce the various and rich components of the sites, Japanese culture, and places scheduled for visits. Contractual documents will be drafted per A+D protocol.

Deposits and payment schedule (based on Program Fee Cost Per Student: $2,090):

  • June 15, 2018:  $300 nonrefundable deposit in due after acceptance into the program in May.
  • October, 10, 2018: Second payment of $1,000 due
  • November 10, 2018: Third and final payment of $790 due

Notes

Any funds above 10% of the total budget will be reimbursed to the students upon assessment and completion of the travel.