About the Archives

Purpose of Establishment

Japanese modern architecture occupies an important position in the arts and culture world, but for a long time there were no proper systems in place for passing on its academic, historic, and artistic value for future generations. We thus aim to prevent materials pertaining to Japanese modern architecture (e.g. drawings, models, etc.) from being damaged, scattered, or lost overseas by conducting nationwide surveys to locate these materials, coordinating with institutions (e.g. universities) in possession of related materials, and acquiring and storing materials in urgent need of protection. Additionally, we strive to further public understanding of modern architecture and architectural materials through making collection materials available for public viewing, organizing exhibitions, and conducting outreach activities.

Overview of Operations

1. Gathering information
2. Collecting, safekeeping, and displaying materials
3. Organizing exhibitions and educational outreach activities
4. Conducting surveys and research


November 2012


May 2013


Agency for Cultural Affairs

Message from the Honorary Director

Architecture embodies people’s lifestyles, the character of the land, and daily life cultures, and it has a strong connection to society. Japanese architecture has followed a unique course of development particularly since the early modern period, when the traditional wooden architecture was fused with architectural cultures of the West. The National Archives of Modern Architecture was established with the purpose of sharing and passing down knowledge on this architectural culture of Japan that we proudly treasure. Architecture cannot be created single-handedly. Works of value are only born when each of the various individuals and organizations involved̶from the clients to the designers and builders̶come to share a single vision through engaging in extensive dialogue with one another. Plans, models, and sketches are used as a means of communicating these visions. Such architectural materials thus become precious historical records that can show us how our nation’s architectural culture has developed. I sincerely hope that Japanese architectural culture will continue to grow ever richer as insights are drawn from the history that our predecessors built for us.

Tadao Ando

Collection Policy

The Agency for Cultural Affairs collects materials pertaining to Japanese modern architecture which either are associated with highly regarded or epochal architectural works and architects or are indispensable to understanding Japanese modern architectural history and culture and which, furthermore, not only are important historically, artistically, and academically but also are in danger of being lost and must urgently be placed under national protection.

Major Collection Materials

  • SAKAKURA Junzo Fonds
  • YOSIZAKA Takamasa + Atelier U Fonds
  • OTAKA Masato Fonds
  • Tokyu Kaikan Shibuya Pantheon Theater Tapestry
  • WATANABE Jin Fonds
  • Kodomonokuni Fonds
  • HIRATA Shigeo Fonds
  • KISHIDA Hideto Fonds
  • IKEBE Kiyoshi Shibuya Ward Reconstruction Plan Documents
(as of Jan. 2019)