Architect of Tokyo Station, Tatsuno Kingo and His Relationship with Art

Saturday, November 2 - Sunday, November 24, 2019

The gallery will be open every day during the exhibition
[Opening Hours]
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
*Fridays: Until 8:00 p.m.
*Last admission: 30 minutes before closing time
[Admission Fee]
Adults: 500 yen, high school and university students: 300 yen
* Junior high school students and younger: Free
* Persons with a disability certificate or similar receive a 100 yen discount on tickets purchased at the door, and one accompanying helper is admitted free.
* Advance tickets and group discounts are not available.
Tickets can be purchased from:
Tokyo Station Gallery (up until 30 minutes before the gallery closes),
Lawson Ticket (L-code=35667), E Plus and CN Playguide.
[Organized by]
Tokyo Station Gallery (East Japan Railway Culture Foundation)
[With the cooperation of]
The Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan, The Museum of Kyoto
[With assistance from]
The Japan Arts Council
A number of related events will be held during the course of the exhibition.

Flyer PDF

2019 marks the centenary of the death of Tatsuno Kingo (1854 - 1919), who was active in the Meiji and Taisho eras as one of Japan’s first generation of architects. As a lively gallery inside Tokyo Station, which was designed by Tatsuno, we are taking this opportunity to hold a small-scale special exhibition that looks back at Tatsuno’s achievements through the perspective of the arts.

Born in Karatsu during the final years of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tatsuno was an avid learner from early childhood. After working his way through school, he graduated at the top of his class from a university established by the government, and earned the chance to study in the United Kingdom for three years on a state scholarship. After returning to Japan, he flourished as an educator and an independent architect, and helped to modernize the field of architecture in Japan. In addition to his famous Bank of Japan Head Office and Tokyo Station, both of which have been registered as important cultural assets, Tatsuno was involved in the design of many different kinds of buildings during the course of his career, including courthouses, schools and private residences. This exhibition focuses on Tatsuno’s relationship with the Western-style artist Matsuoka Hisashi, whom Tatsuno met during his studies abroad. The 70 items on display are divided into three sections, and include documents from his student years, Tokyo Station blueprints, and paintings by Matsuoka.

◆A hard worker: Insights into Tatsuno Kingo’s thoughts and feelings from Field Notes from Europe

Tatsuno always carried a sketchbook with him during his time in Europe. In it he jotted down notes about materials and structures, as well as many sketches showing parts of the decorations on buildings. These are valuable documents that show how, as someone studying abroad on a state scholarship, he greedily absorbed Western techniques and was eager to make use of them when he returned to Japan.

◆His friendship with Matsuoka Hisashi: Portrait of Tatsuno Kingo

Tatsuno’s friends commissioned this commemorative portrait of him after his death from “his dear friend, the distinguished Western-style painter Matsuoka Hisashi.” The exhibits also include documents related to Osaka City Central Public Hall, a building on which the two collaborated, and Tatsuno’s connection with the world of the arts is revealed through his relationship with Matsuoka.

◆The gypsum statues which Tatsuno protected

Gypsum statues still exist that were thought to be used at the Technical Fine Arts School (opened in 1876), Japan’s first state-run school of Western-style art and the place where Matsuoka Hisashi studied. They are currently in the possession of the University of Tokyo. It is thanks to Tatsuno that they have survived. Three statues are displayed alongside the sketch that Matsuoka made, offering us a glimpse of the past.

◆Blueprints from when Tokyo Station was being built, including some shown for the first time

Around 20 of the blueprints of Tokyo Station (Central Railway Station) drawn up by the Tatsuno-Kasai Architectural Design Office are on display, including some shown for the first time. In addition to teaching us about the process up until the design of Tokyo Station was decided, the blueprints show us the layout of the rooms when the station was first built and the plans for their interiors.

◆A brief biography of Tatsuno Kingo  [His age is shown in the brackets]

Born in the Karatsu domain (now Karatsu-city, Saga Prefecture) on August 22
Entered Taikoryo, the clan’s school of Western learning
Entered Kogakuryo, a university established by the government
Was taught by Josiah Conder
Graduated at the top of his class. Went to the UK the following year as a student on a state scholarship and worked as an intern for William Burges.
Appointed as an professor at the Imperial College of Engineering
Founded Zoka Gakkai, the forerunner of the Architectural Institute of Japan
Appointed principal of the Meiji Bijutsu Gakko (Meiji School of Fine Arts)
Completed construction of the Bank of Japan Head Office
Established Tatsuno-Kasai Architectural Design Office
Established Tatsuno-Kataoka Architectural Design Office
Completed construction of Central Railway Station (Tokyo Station)
In collaboration with Matsuoka Hisashi, completed construction of Osaka City Central Public Hall
Died on March 22

This exhibition is a collaborative project with the exhibitions held at The Museum of Kyoto and the Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan to mark the centenary of Tatsuno Kingo’s death.

■Kyoto's Modern Architecture and Community Development
Saturday, August 31 - Sunday, October 27, 2019
Venue: The Museum of Kyoto Main Building [The Annex is the former Bank of Japan Kyoto Branch]

■Tatsuno Kingo and the Bank of Japan: a Pioneer of Modern Japanese Architecture
Saturday, September 21 - Sunday, December 8, 2019
Venue: The Currency Museum of the Bank of Japan [The Bank of Japan Head Office Main Building]

* The buildings in brackets are relevant historical buildings. They are all important cultural assets of Japan that were designed by Tatsuno Kingo.