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“Honden”: The Main Sanctuary StructureToya Manabu

The structure called the honden is the heart of the Shintō facility, where its kami is enshrined. Observing the details of honden architecture can tell the visitor much about the nature of the shrine and its deity.
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Architect Kuma Kengo Shares His Thinking Behind Japan’s New National Stadium DesignKiyono Yumi (Interviewer)

Kuma Kengo made up his mind to become an architect after seeing the Yoyogi National Gymnasium designed by Tange Kenzō for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. And now he has been selected as the architect of the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In this interview he explains the ideas informing his design.
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Torii: Gates to the Sacred SpacesToya Manabu

The torii gate at the entrance to a shrine's grounds is a sight known to everyone who has visited Japan. Whether made of wood or concrete, unvarnished or painted bright red, the torii is a sign that the worshipper is leaving the profane world behind.
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Your Virtual Guide to the Shintō ShrineToya Manabu

Every component of a Shintō shrine exists for a reason, and understanding the significance and function of each part is key to a more meaningful shrine experience. In this series of illustrated guides, Shintō priest and writer Toya Manabu introduces the elements of the Shintō shrine in the order in which they appear to you, the visitor, from the distinctive torii gate to the shamusho, the shrine office.
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Manga Artist Inoue Takehiko’s Appreciation of GaudíGonzalo Robledo

The millions of readers of the manga series Slam Dunk, Vagabond, and Real might imagine that author Inoue Takehiko would only have time to think up the stories and draw the artwork for his creations. And it is true that over the past 25 years he has dedicated himself to his creative activities, so that now you can find his works in any bookstore in Japan—and many others around the world. But …
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Japan’s Castles Stir Memories of Feudal Past (Photos)Yamashita Shigeki (Photographer)

Japan’s castles, mainly built by powerful regional leaders in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, are among the country’s top tourist attractions. In this collection, photographer Yamashita Shigeki captures the rich variety of Japanese castles in all their majesty.
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Architecture for All: An Interview with Pritzker Prize Winner Ban Shigeru

In 2014, Ban Shigeru received the Pritzker Prize, one of the most prestigious honors in the field of architecture. Ban has won international kudos for his temporary but sturdy structures built from paper tubes to shelter disaster victims and refugees. In an interview with Nippon.com, Ban talks about his latest project and shares his artistic philosophy.
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Architecture and the Blueprint for Gender Equality: Interview with Venice Biennale Commissioner Ōta Kayoko

Ōta Kayoko was appointed the commissioner of the Japanese Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, becoming the first woman to hold that position. In this interview, Ōta discusses how working overseas fostered her own global outlook and offers recommendations for Japan to transform its social outlook.
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Itō Toyoo and the “Minna No Ie” Project

The Minna No Ie project is an attempt to consider what the architectural profession can do to assist reconstruction efforts in regions of Japan impacted by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Katō Jun, a writer specializing in architecture, met with Itō Toyoo, the driving force of the project, to find out more.
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Tapping into Art’s Power in Post-3/11 Japan

The Aichi Triennale, which debuted in 2010, is wide-ranging art exhibition held in Nagoya. The theme of the event to be held in 2013 is “Awakening.” We sat down with the artistic director of the exhibition, Igarashi Tarō, to find out more about this theme and discuss the potential of art in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
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