A Curious Example of Westernization
The Former Kaichi School
After the nation adopted a modern education system, this elementary school was built in 1876, entirely with donations from the town’s residents. Carpenters freely incorporated traditional techniques, Western architectural styles that had been newly imported after Japan was reopened to the outside world, and the designs of castles and Buddhist temples, which had been strictly controlled under the class system of the Edo Period. The early Meiji buildings that they designed and built came to as “quasi-Western architecture.” Transcending the relationship between ruled and ruler, this important example of the style expresses the curiosity of Japanese people, who approached Westernization and modernization in their own unique way.