Shinohara, Kazuo (1925–2006) By Soeiro, Diana
Kazuo Shinohara was born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. He graduated from the Department of Architecture, Tokyo Institute of Technology, in 1953. That same year, he commenced his successfull career as an academic and practicing architect. To Shinohara, theory and practice were closely linked and whatever he conceived in theory, he took the chance to experiment with in real-life structures. Academically, he published several hundred articles and books between 1955 and 1990; as an architect, he concluded his first project, House in Kugayama in 1954 and his last work Kumamoto-kita Police Station, was completed in 1990. Shinohara considered himself an individual housing architect, having built around forty residences.
Since opening communications with Western countries in the mid-1850s, Japan had been struggling to maintain its own identity. At first, architects started imitating Western styles from different historical periods, experimenting with brick and other materials unknown hitherto in Japan. Some, however, continued to favor traditional Japanese architecture with its predominant use of wood. After 1920 and the Japanese secession, architects started to proclaim their own individual artistic creativity, considering architecture to be not only a science, but also an art.