Western Industrial Facilities of Bakumatsu and Early-Meiji Japan: An Architectural History Study of the Role Glover & Co. Played in Technology Transfer

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Western Industrial Facilities of Bakumatsu and Early-Meiji Japan: An Architectural History Study of the Role Glover & Co. Played in Technology Transfer
Author: Susumu Mizuta
Specifications: ISBN  978-4798502052
238 pages
18.9 x 26.4 cm / 7.5 x 10.5 in (WxH)
Category: Academic & Science
Publisher: Kyushu University Press
Fukuoka, 2017
www.kup.or.jp
Buy now: amazon.co.jp

Synopsis

European-style industrial structures built in Japan from the Bakumatsu period (1853–1867) into the early Meiji era (1868–1912) announced the dawn of modern Japan, and they continue to be regarded as an important historical legacy of the industrial revolution that took place in the Meiji era. But how should they be assessed in the context of the mid- to late-19th century international stage that was dominated by the British Empire?

In this study of architectural history, author Susumu Mizuta examines the technology transfers embodied in the European-style industrial buildings constructed in Japan during the 1860s and 1870s, with particular reference to the role played by Scottish merchant Thomas Blake Glover’s firm, Glover & Co. The author directs his attention to five facilities in particular: the Tea Firing Godown in the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement; the Amami Ōshima Sugar Mill; the Kagoshima Spinning Mill; the Kosuge Ship-Repair Dock; and the Osaka Mint.

In each case Mizuta has conducted an extensive review of documentary evidence both in Japan and abroad to throw light on the circumstances and process of construction, to show how Glover & Co. contributed, and to reconstruct the architectural characteristics of the buildings. He also compares the Japanese facilities with similar industrial facilities in operation elsewhere during the same period in order to assess their international standing. The work is an invaluable contribution to the historical scholarship on architecture, as well as on industrial technology and socioeconomics.