Kanagawa Prefectural Office, Yokohama, c. 1930.

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“A competition was held in 1926 for the design of a new prefectural government office and won by Obi Yoshiro. The building is one of the first examples of the style called teikan-yoshiki, or ‘Imperial Crown Style’. The five-story steel-frame reinforced concrete structure is clad in masonry on the base, and scratch tile and terra cotta on the upper stories … The building has a ziggurat-like tower, surmounted by a finial suggestive of the sorin of a pagoda.”

The Architecture of Tokyo, by Watanabe Hiroshi, 2001

Kanagawa Prefectural Office, Yokohama, c. 1930.

See also:
Jack’s Tower (Port Opening Memorial Building), c. 1920

“Kanagawa Prefectural Government’s Office. nicknamed ‘King’s Tower’, stands with an exceptional dignity in the historical area. Built in 1928, it was influenced by the Art Deco architectural style which was popular in Europe back then. The imperial crown style and the exterior scratch tiles give it distinction. It is particularly beautiful when the building is lit from sundown to 10 p.m., and is often used for location shooting in Japanese TV dramas and movies. Until air travel allowed visitors to arrive in Japan via airports, Yokohama was Japan’s front door to the world. Officials wanted this building to have a view of the ocean and to showcase Japan to all the internationals coming ashore from the Oosan-bashi pier.”

“Obi Yoshiro was the 26 year-old architect who won the right to design the prefectural office. The building is one of three super historical buildings in the vicinity – a trinity of buildings known as ‘King’ (Kanagawa Prefectural Office), ‘Queen’ (the Yokohama Customs Office) and ‘Jack‘ (the Port Opening Memorial Building).”


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