Bruno Taut

Bruno Taut, a German architect, introduced to the world the beauty of Japanese architecture such as Ise Jingu Shrine and Katsura Rikyu Detached Palace. He stayed in Japan from 1933 to 1936.

In his famous book, “NIPPON (meaning Japan, translated by Toshio Mori. 1991. Japan: Koudansha,) ” Taut introduced a part of his discoveries in Japanese lighting culture. He wrote, “In Japan, lighting at night is especially beautiful,” and showed his opinion that temple/shrine worship and Japanese lighting are closely related, “2000 stone lanterns and bronze hanging lanterns in Nara Kasuga Shrine should make a wonderful lighting festival.”

On the other hand, Taut expressed his discontent about Japanese house lighting, “I am absolutely dubious that Japanese lighting is sometimes beside the point…In authentic Japanese-style houses, I believe it is possible to light the rooms in more efficient and better ways. It may be necessary to try several methods: Disperse the light sources, hang the lamps lower, and use the floor/table lamps.”

As a lighting designer, I felt a bit mortified to realize that typical Japanese house lighting ? one lighting fixture in a room ? has not changed from 80 years ago. ( Reiko Chikada )

<< previous 2007/07 News Index next >>