Kyoto [Japan]: nd [ca. 1930]. First edition. Oblong 4to. One page of text, plus 31 mounted gelatin silver prints, each with a patterned tissue guard printed with a caption title in Japanese and English; the tipped-in photographs show a bird's-eye and street view of the house and interior and exterior images. Six of the photographs are in color, the others black-and-white. A single folded sheet, printing elevations for the residence, built for Shotaru Shimomura, Kioto, by W.M. Vories & Co., Architects, Omi Hachiman, Japan, is laid in; the album was manufactured by Matsuzaki & Co., Ltd., of Tokyo and Osaka, leather designers. Apparently not recorded on OCLC. Rear board rubbed, some separation starting along fore-edge of rear board, but a very good copy. Heavily decorated and embossed leather album, tooled in red black, and orange, tied, original orange wrappers bound in. (#6243). Item #58145
The owner of this home was Shotaru Shimomura (1883-1944), Chairman of the Daimaru chain of department stores in Japan. He was also an avid photographer who exhibited some of his works at the Ashiya Photo Salons in the 1930's. His architect, William Merrell Vories (1880-1964) was an American who arrived in Japan to work as an educator and missionary, but financed his humanitarian work through his architectural training. He designed one of Daimaru's department stores in the 1930's. In William H. Lyon's brief sketch "An American In Japan: William Merrell Vories..." he describes the architect's work as follows: "His structures were utilitarian, with American conveniences and Japanese artistic lines and proportion, which sought to instill restfulness and balance. Vories learned his architecture in the America of H. H. Richardson, Charles F. McKim and Lous Sullivan." The collaboration of Japanese entrepreneur and American craftsman resulted in the Tudor style Japanese house shown in this album.