Crossing the Border between Japan and the West

Tachikawa Residence and Shop

Those who would like to understand the transgressive character of Hakodate might consider visiting this small building, erected in 1901. Though the exterior recalls the dozo-zukuri construction of the Edo Period, the building incorporates plastered brick walls and a Western-style three-section arch into its traditional design. Hakodate was the trading center of northern Japan and strong winds led to huge fires on numerous occasions. The city’s natural conditions, and a desire to preserve the house for many years, inspired this structure, which integrates Japanese and Western technology and design in an almost unprecedented manner.

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