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Important Cultural Asset Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens
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The gardens


During the Period, the grounds were the residence of an Echigo Takada Clan notable called Sakakibara, and the residence of the clan official Makino, of the Maizuru Clan, both of whom preserved the garden in its existing form. When the main Iwasaki residence was built, the large garden was ringed with a number of bushes, and many garden stones, lanterns and garden mountains were placed there. The Japanese residence was also constructed and the garden still retains much of the form it had during this period. The elements in the garden that still exist from the Edo Period include some stone monuments, a stone hand-washing basin, a large Japanese evergreen (Ternstroemia gymnanthera), etc. The Japanese-style residence that was built here had a significant influence on the development of Japanese residential architecture.

Western-style residence


Based on Josiah Condor's design, the building was completed in 1896. The grounds comprised 49,500m2 and more than 20 buildings. At the present time, only one building remains. This is a two-story, western-style building constructed of wood that also has a cellar. The design is basically western in style and is representative of the type of architecture that was used for the residences of upper class families. This style is based on the Jacobean style of England in the 17th century, which incorporates Islamic motifs of the Renaissance. On the south side of the building, there is a veranda with a colonnade. The second-story colonnade is in the Ionian style of the Pennsylvania country house in the United States.
It forms good balance with the juxtaposed Japanese-style building and is regarded as a residence of importance in the world history of architecture. The building itself was used once mainly for annual gatherings of the Iwasaki family and for entertaining foreign guests. The first floor includes an entryway, dining room, kitchen, study and guest rooms. On the second floor there are guest rooms and a room for gatherings. In the cellar, there is storage space, a machinery room, and a passageway.
In 1952, the residence was designated a national cultural asset. After World War II, the residence was confiscated by the GHQ and after it was returned it was used as the Judicial Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court until 1970.

Japanese-style building

The Japanese-style building was integrated with the Western-style building and the design was based on the classic "Shoin" style. At the time the building was completed, the total floor space amounted to 1,815m2, making it nearly comparable in size to the Western-style building. The head Japanese carpenter for the project was Ookawa Kijuro, a famous craftsman who created many residences for notables in the government and the financial world. Near the entranceway, there was a large, classic Shoin tatami room for greeting guests and screens and fusuma sliding door paintings done by a well-known painter of the period, Hashimoto Gaho, are still in existence. The living space for the Iwasaki family was located to the rear of the large greeting room. It was divided into south and north sections. The bedrooms of the master and mistress of the house and the children's bedrooms were located in the southern section. The quarters of the serving personnel were in the northern section along with the kitchen, an office for business personnel, storage space, etc. The large guest gathering room and many parts of the building afford glimpses of the exquisite workmanship and design of this classic Japanese building.

Billiard facility


The billiard room, an important feature of Condor's design, is separated from the main residence. Differing from a Jacobean western-style residence, this building was designed to be reminiscent of a Swiss mountain chalet, a style very rarely seen in Japan. This building is made completely of wood. It features "aze-kura" (log house-style) walls with carved pillars and a roof with protruding eaves, a design that shows signs of Gothic style. It is connected to the main residence by an underground passageway.

 
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