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Designated National Important Cultural Property
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
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Discovered during post-quake restoration:
New, previously covered-over facts found in the walls!
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The north and south side
walls of the hallway to the
Japanese-style room are made with clay
(west side hall way on 3rd floor)
Guest House viewed
from south side

Recently discovered Japanese plans?

It is said that Wright, who designed the YODOKO Guest House, took numerous hints from Japanese architecture and art. There are a number of places that give you the feeling of Japanese ideas inside the building, which looks nothing but Western from its outside appearance. New discoveries found during the three-year post-quake restoration work since 1995 are introduced here. Are these discoveries Wright's original works? Enjoy solving the mysteries with your imagination.


Clay wall found in the reinforced concrete buildingc

There are three Japanese-style rooms built next to each other with tatami mats on the third floor of the building. This is nothing particularly unique. From the building, however, clay walls (west side of Japanese-style rooms = a part of hall way) have been discovered in places where concrete is usually used in line with the overall building structure. Clay walls are a feature of Japanese architecture wherein clay is coated onto frames made by tied-together bamboo trees. Why are these walls there? In truth, these Japanese-style rooms were not in Wright's original design. These rooms were built in response to the owner, Yamamura's strong request, at the discretion of Wright's assistants, Arata Endo and Makoto Minami. Clay walls are strong even though they are relatively thin, thus rooms can be made bigger. They also have a role in protecting tatami mats from humidity.


Original wall color and lacquered wall discovered
Before the earthquake, walls inside the building had been painted pale green. After the earthquake, however, as the original wall color of pale brown was found underneath the pale green walls, the walls were restored to their original color. The color has somewhat the tone of unglazed pottery. Further, the wall of the stair landing to the fourth floor had a trace of lacquer painted on it. Although lacquer is a traditional Japanese coating material, its use in architecture is limited to frames of sliding doors. Was someone fascinated by the glossy, jet color of lacquer? Whose idea was it? It's still a mystery.
Wall color before the earthquake
(Japanese-style room on the 3rd floor)

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Flower spots
"A Peculiar Gardening Space"
As gardening has been very popular these days, there are quite a lot of people who are growing flowers in gardens and on balconies. YODOKO Guest House also has spots related to gardening. Traces of one flower spot can be found on the east side of the entrance. Because it is located on top of the wall, it is a little difficult to imagine at first glance that there had been a flowerbed there; but if you look at it from the fourth floor balcony, you will be convinced. You can see soil inside the field fenced off with stone. (Picture: Ligthing) It gives the image of a sky-garden, working out an elaborate plan for the entertainment of guests. Traces of planters have also been found in the balcony, which makes one envision a picture of people having garden parties while enjoying the seasonal flowers.
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*This article was written by Yodogawa Steel Works, under the supervision of Mr. Fumitaka Hirata of the Building Research Institute Foundation, which administrates the restoration and preservation of YODOKO Guest House.


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