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Nishi Kazuo, architectural historian

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Awa no Kami
Awa no Kami
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
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Location: 南加州

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject: Nishi Kazuo, architectural historian Reply with quote
I sadly have just been informed of the passing of Nishi Kazuo (1938 - 3 Jan 2015), who we might best know as the author of "What is Japanese Architecture?"

I just obtained the book recently, and have not had a chance to read much of it at all, but skimming it seems likely one of the most thorough treatments of Japanese architecture available in English. Lots of nice diagrams and illustrations, and technical Japanese terminology. As I'm beginning to work on a paper on shogunal audiences at Edo castle right now, while I suppose the names for different types of eaves and different parts of the eaves might not enter into it, still, there is much to be gained from a book such as Nishi's as to terminology, room layouts, and so forth.

From the brief email I received today, Prof. Nishi was a distinguished professor at Kanagawa University in Yokohama, and was known as "an innovative, border-crossing historian of Japanese architecture." "What is Japanese Architecture?" may be his best-known book in Japanese as well, though he also published work on Dejima, and on heritage conservation, particularly pertaining to machinami town streets.

He worked with the late art historian Chino Kaori on projects including histories of the transfer of Imperial & shogunal palace buildings to various temples, bridging interdisciplinary gaps between architecture & art history, and was apparently involved in some important debates as to the dating and identification of certain prominent Kanô paintings and temple/palace architectural elements.
My blog on Japanese art & history:

紫水晶殿 - The Amethyst Lord
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