A City Under Siege: Saving Kyoto’s Machiya from Destruction

November 5, 2008
past event image

Mizuno Katsuhiko Photo Studio Co., Ltd.

Kyoto, one of the few Japanese cities to survive World War II intact, faces a different threat today. Kyoto’s machiya, traditional townhouses inhabited by merchants and craftsmen, are fast disappearing, victims of neglect and urban redevelopment. Loss of the machiya would alter the fabric of Kyoto and spell an end to a centuries-old cultural heritage on a scale not found elsewhere in Japan. Civic groups in Kyoto are scrambling to save the machiya that remain, but unlike the U.S. and Britain, Japan does not have a strong tradition of historic preservation.  A group of pioneering Japanese preservationists will travel to New York to learn from the American preservation experience in an effort to deepen and broaden Kyoto’s historic preservation.

Followed by a reception.

Fusae Kojima
, machiya owner, President and Executive Director of Kyomachiya Revitalization Study Group
Kengo Kuma, Architect & Principal, Kengo Kuma Associates
Limbon, Professor, Ritsumeikan University
Hiroshi Mimura, President, Kyoto City Center for Community Collaboration

Ruth Abram
, Founder, Lower Eastside Tenement Museum

This event is part of the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network. For more information on the U.S. Japan Innovators Network, please visit the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network site.

  • Wednesday, November 5, 2008
  • 6:30 pm