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Lecture: “Going West to Find the “East”: Japanese Architect Itō Chūta’s Travels Throughout the Ottoman Empire and His Thought on “Oriental / Tōyō” Architecture” with Miyuki Aoki Girardelli (University of Toronto)

April 23, 2019 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Itō Chūta (1867-1954), the architect who created the Japanese word “Kenchiku” as a translation of the English word “Architecture” in Meiji Japan, is also the first historian of Japanese architecture. On 29 March 1904 he embarked on a world trip lasting 3 years and 3 months to prove his own theory. During his trip passing through China, Burma, Malay, India, the Ottoman Empire, Europe, and the United States, Itō Chūta gradually changed his thoughts and started to think about what we call now “Tōyō / Oriental” architecture, and so-called “Islamic” architecture, from a Japanese point of view. In the end, after coming back to Japan, Itō Chūta created an original chart showing world architecture in historical, geographical and ethnical context, that was significantly different from European ones. With a special emphasis on the Ottoman Empire, the lecture will explore Itō Chūta’s experience and perceptions of “world architecture,” using numerous images drawn and photographed by himself. Some attention will be also devoted to Chūta’s observation of the United States in a global context.

Hosted by the Turkish Circle at Duke & UNC Chapel Hill & NC State Universities. Sponsored by the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, Carolina Asia Center, Carolina Seminar on Transnational and Modern Global History.

FedEx Global Education Center, Room 1009

UNC Chapel Hill


April 23, 2019
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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