New architectural views of Japan

  • Windowology: New Architectural Views of Japan shines the spotlight on the humble window, examining the impact they have on us every day.

  • The exhibition explores the different perspectives on the world that windows offer us, considering the role of windows in disciplines such as architecture, cinema, crafts, manga and movement.

  • Visitors can walk through a life-size replica of the 17e architectural plan of the century Yōsuitei tea room at Kyto – also known as Jūsansōnoseki (13-window lounge) – renowned for having the most windows of all existing tearooms.

  • Artist Tsuda Michiko creates a window-themed installation allowing visitors to Japan House inside, and visitors to Kensington High Street and Derry Street on the outside, to interact with each other, distorting the boundaries between the streetscape and the interior.

  • Produced by the Window Research Institute, the world’s only institution dedicated to window research and development, and architecture critic Igarashi Taro.

  • Press preview Monday, November 29; reserve your place here: [email protected]

  • Press images available here

LONDON, September 28, 2021 / PRNewswire / – During the pandemic, for many, windows took on a whole new meaning. They unlocked our creative and connective potential as hubs for communities to converse, artists to paint, and even small businesses to thrive during the lockdown.

Windowologie at Japan House London – Takumi Ota Photography Co., Ltd.

This new appreciation is explored in more detail in this multidisciplinary exhibition from Japan House London. Windowology: new architectural views of Japan, run from December 1, 2021 up to April 10, 2022, explores the importance of windows beyond what can be considered their primary architectural function – to consider their daily impact through architecture, photography, manga, craft production and technology.

Organized by the TokyoWindow Research Institute, the world’s only institution focused on the study, design, use, and impact of windows, and prominent architectural historian and critic Igarashi Taro, this free exhibit examines how windows frame our vision to give us unique perspectives on the world.

The main themes of the exhibition include:

  • Windows on the tearooms: Enter a life-size replica of the 17e century okoshi-ezu (three-dimensional architectural plan) of Yōsuitei tea room at Kyto, built from washi (Japanese paper). Famous for its 13 windows despite its small size, each widow is designed to enhance the tea ceremony experience via light and breeze control.

  • Windows on craftsmanship: Explore the central role windows play in creating Japanese crafts such as Mashiko ceramics, indigo dyeing, and washi by Matsue. Used as ‘working windows’, they bring in wind to dry materials, let off steam, allow objects to be smoked or even to trap heat – all processes that are integral to the creation of every craft.

  • Windows on manga: Explore one of the from Japan most popular manga series’Sazae-san‘. First published in weekly newspapers between 1946 and 1974 and framed in a yonkoma manga (four-celled comic book), the characters are often depicted sitting in a typical Japanese house, communicating with other characters through neighborhood windows.

  • Windows on the way we live now: Discover the works of photographer Jérémie Souteyrat. Interested in the different architectural concepts of windows in Japan, his works highlight how urban windows are carefully positioned in response to surrounding sight lines, while rural Japanese homes are often built to capture the natural environment.

  • Windows on narration: Famous windows in fiction are often used as a place of exchange, a means of indicating separation or even entry into another world. The exhibition explores the role of windows in famous Japanese literature through the ages, and what this centuries-old literary device has come to represent.

  • Windows on film: Japanese wood-based architecture uses window-like components called shôji (translucent sliding screens) and fusuma (sliding partitions) to create entirely new spaces. A short film about Kikugetsutei – a Japanese teahouse in Kagawa prefecture – is available to view, revealing, through the redevelopment of the “window” spaces, the different ways in which a Japanese building can be completely transformed over a 24 hour period.

  • Windows on the environment: The role of windows in relation to the environment is constantly evolving, and Japan paves the way for the creation of sustainable architecture. As our interaction with nature becomes increasingly central to the practice of building, the exhibition explores the behavior of heat, light and wind around the windows of Japanese houses.

Interactive window installation

An in situ installation by artist Tsuda Michiko is available to view on the ground floor. Entitled *Shakkei Trilogue: Walk Straight, the play focuses on the relationship between Japan House London and Kensington High Street to create an installation in and around building windows using camera images, mirrors and frames. Blurring the line between past and present, window frames with mirrors and screens reflect the images of gallery visitors, inviting them to look inside for a glimpse.

By distorting the boundaries between the streetscape and the interior and projecting the images of visitors into unexpected places, the piece is designed to alter the perception of space and create a labyrinthine visual experience. This is part of the Window Research Institute’s exhibition project of works by artists on the theme of windows.

* Shakkei is the concept of landscape borrowed from the design of Japanese gardens.

Tar of Igarashio, director of the Windowing exposure said: “Now more than ever, windows play a vital role in connecting us to each other and to our communities at large. By allowing us to see the world outside and inside, windows are intimately linked to our daily life and our physical actions. Japan The House London exhibition offers us the opportunity to present our work on research into windowing Japan, and to show the window’s broader cultural significance across all cultures. “

Simon wright, Programming Director, Japan House London said: “Hope this is a new experience for everyone: Windowology offers insight into the purpose and meaning of windows in Japan. From the designs of tearooms to the “working windows” of craft workshops around the world, we hope this exhibit sheds light on this often overlooked element of architecture, and that visitors explore the many ways windows influence their daily lives and opens our eyes to the potential of different perspectives. “

This exhibition takes place from December 1, 2021 until April 10, 2022, admission is free.

Media information and press contacts

Press images:

Press preview: takes place at 10:00 am to November 29, 2021, including a tour with the programming director Simon wright, reserve your place via [email protected]

Press contact: [email protected]

Notes to Editors

About the Window Research Institute

The Window Research Institute is an incorporated foundation based in Tokyo dedicated to the development of architectural culture. The Institute advances knowledge about windows and architecture through research grants, publications and public events. The “Windowology” research project was initiated by the Institute on the basis of the belief that “windows represent civilization and culture”. Over the past 10 years, the institute has accumulated research results by conducting collaborative studies with universities and researchers both inside and outside Japan. For more information, please visit the website:

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About the Maison du Japon

Japan House London is a cultural destination offering guests the opportunity to experience the best and newest of Japan. Located on that of London Kensington High Street, the experience is an authentic encounter with Japan, engaging and surprising even the most discerning guests. Showcasing the best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation and technology, it deepens the visitor’s appreciation of all that Japan has to offer. As part of a global initiative led by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, there are two other Houses in Japan, one in Los Angeles and the other in São Paulo.

About Igarashi Taro, Director of Windowing exposure

Igarashi was born in 1967, in Paris. He graduated from the University of Tokyo Department of Architecture of the School of Engineers in 1990. He obtained his master’s degree from the same university in 1992 and he now holds a doctorate from the University of Tokyo. He is currently a professor at the graduate school of Tohoku University. He was artistic director of the 2013 Aichi Triennale and curator of the Japanese Pavilion at the 11th Venice Biennale. Igarashi received the Newcomerʼs Award within the framework of the 64th Art Prize of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

About artist Tsuda Michiko

Tsuda has constantly examined the volatility of human perception – and the glimpse of the wealth of illusions that volatility offers – by manipulating our sensations in terms of understanding space and time. Tsuda’s works take various forms such as installation, performance, and video involving an unseen presence flickering in response to the perspective and demeanor of the appreciator. In recent years, runs as a ‘baby tooth’ unit with Megumi Kamimura. His installation “You would come back there to see me again the next day” received the New Face Award at the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2017. Exhibitions include the solo exhibition “Trilogue” (TARO NASU, Tokyo, 2020), “Observing Forest” (zarya contemporary art center, Vladivostok, 2017) and the group exhibition “Inter + Play: Arts Towada 10th Anniversary Exhibition Part 1” (Towada Art Center, Aomori), “Aichi Triennale 2019”, “Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions” (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2019). She completed a doctoral program in Film and New Media Studies at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, in 2013, and received a scholarship from the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) for a 6-month residency at new York in 2019.

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