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Edo/Tokyo - Seen Through Its Edifices

Edo/Tokyo as experimental crossroads of “East meeting West” in architecture.

Introducing 50 historical photographs from an album entitled “Assorted Japanese Sightseeing Spots”, taken by an Italian Envoy/Commander, B. Bolanni 1877-1881. The exhibition “Edo/Tokyo - seen through its edifices” will be presented for the first time outside of Japan, from the 15th to 30th of April 2019 at the Japan Information Center Hall.

Monday, April 15 – Tuesday, April 30, 2019

9:15AM – 6:00PM (closed: Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays)

JIC Hall, Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago (737 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 1000. Chicago, IL 60611)

Special Event: Talk Event / Reception

Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:30 PM

  • Greeting from Consul General Naoki Ito

  • Short Lecture by Miro Ito, Co-organizer

  • Short lecture by Dr. Thomas Gaubatz, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

  • Solo Ballet Performance by Shunso (Artistic Direction by Miro Ito / Music by Hagi)

  • Sushi and Refreshments

Presented by the Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII, Tokyo) and Media Art League (Tokyo/Toronto), this exhibition seeks to present a lost Edo transforming into Japan’s new capital of Tokyo, providing a dramatic contrast of a wistful nostalgic longing for the old ways of “Samurai Society” with an exuberant anticipating mood towards the advent of the newly reborn and modernizing imperial Japan.

What makes this album particularly interesting is how it shows the unique architectural transformation from the Samurai Edo to the new imperial capital of Tokyo through both modification of existing Edo edifices and new construction of Western-style buildings.

The city of Edo/Tokyo itself became an experimental crossroads of “East meeting West” in architecture. The amazing photo album that contains these invaluable images was brought back to Italy after Envoy Bolani’s mission to Japan and it was only recently discovered and acquired by the Japan Camera Industry Institute (JCII).

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