Tatsuno Kingo: The Face of an Empire

Early modern architecture in Japan went through a series of distinct phases. One of these phases was a certain kind of neo-Renaissance introduced by architects like Josiah Conder, Hermann Ende and Wilhelm Böckmann in the late 1800s. Separate from earlier mixed Western-Japanese buildings found around the bund at Yokohama, such neoclassicism became well-admired and common … More Tatsuno Kingo: The Face of an Empire

Traces of the Imperial Crown Style in Colonial Korea

The Imperial Crown Style was a genre of Japanese modernist architecture generally found in 1930s-1940s government buildings. It appears to have mostly skipped southern Korea, but traces of the style can still be seen today. In Volume 92 of Transactions, a journal published by the Royal Asiatic Society – Korea Branch, you may find a short article … More Traces of the Imperial Crown Style in Colonial Korea

The Chosun Hotel

Once called “the Ritz Hotel of the Far East”,1 the Chosen Hotel was, for a time, the last word in luxury and comfort in Korea. Dignitaries, statesmen, royalty, celebrities, casual travelers, and locals graced its elegant spaces with their presence. Militaries occupied it as one would a barracks, and officers used it as their billet, … More The Chosun Hotel

Railway Quarters

The birth of Korea’s railways has been commented on by a number of Westerners living in Korea, including missionary doctor and US minister Horace Newton Allen. In his 1908 work Things Korean, Allen seemed to be rather proud of the American gauge railroad system in Korea, claiming he had heard “prominent Japanese deploring the fact … More Railway Quarters

Gampo

Korea’s eastern coastline is home to a number of port villages that were developed by migrant Japanese settlers during the colonial period. One such village was Gampo, a harbor that sits between present day Pohang and Ulsan. During the Japanese occupation, Gampo’s neighbors were Guryongpo (near Pohang) and Bangeojin (now within present day Ulsan). All three … More Gampo