Sakaushi Residence

5 Chome-8-15 Irifune, Otaru-shi, Hokkaidō 047-0021, Japan

If the Aoyama Villa is the best of classic Japan, the Sakaushi Residence, begun only 10 years later, shows what modern Japanese were thinking. From the outside, the place looks like a really nice house in a Virginia suburb, and why not? It was designed by Yoshiya Tanoue, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright had a thing about Japan, designing several landmark buildings in the country (none of which survive), but the Sakaushi Residence is clearly of his aesthetic, with multipaned windows, oddly shaped rooms and design elements that draw the eyes down, not up, as you look. This is an excellent place to see some of the first Western design concepts that the Japanese could get behind.

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