People

Yukichi Fukuzawa
Fukuzawa (1835-1901) is a very familiar to all Japanese, not least because his portrait has adorned the 10,000 yen banknote since 1984.

Read more

Shigeru Ban Yufuin
Ban caught the attention of the architectural world through his innovative use of cardboard tubes in construction in creating temporary structures, which can be quickly and cheaply built – ideal in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Read more

Sadaji Futabayama
Throughout the ages there are some athletes so accomplished they transcend their sport and establish records considered so substantial that they are considered unbreakable. Futabayama (1912-1968) is one of these.

Read more

Mamoru Shigemitsu Kitsuki
The scene on the deck of the USS Missouri at the signing of the Instrument of Surrender, when Japan formally yielded to the Allied forces on 2 September 1945, is a familiar scene to many, especially older generations around the world.

Read more

Comico Art Museum
Kuma is the architect of the New National Stadium built for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. An ardent proponent of reinterpreting traditional Japanese construction methods, Kuma is known for his use of timber, which the Olympic Stadium uses on a colossal scale.

Read more

Fumio Asakura Bungo Ono
A prolific artist, Asakura (1883-1964) is often referred to in Japan as Asia’s Rodin and considered the father of western-style sculpture in the country.

Read more

Oita Kuroshima v3
Kuroshima with a population of six people is an assuming island off the coast of Usuki. Most visitors make the short boat journey in summer months to enjoy Kuroshima’s sandy beaches and to fish.

Read more

At a glance

The island where William Adams, the British sailor who became confident of Japan's greatest shogun, was shipwrecked in 1600.

Toyo Ito Kitsuki
Ito began his career in Kiyonori Kikutake architectural practice, and he has employed younger leading architects Kuzuo Seijima and Ryue Nishizawa, who together created the SANAA architectural firm, and Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, who together established the Klein Dytham practice in Tokyo.

Read more

Toshiko Akiyoshi Beppu
Although born in Manchuria, Akiyoshi (1929 - present) moved with her family back to Beppu after the cessation of hostilities in 1945. She was introduced to Jazz by a local collector and began her career as a jazz pianist playing to American troops stationed in the city.

Read more

Tanso Hirose Kangien
Tanso Hirose (1782 - 1856) was a Confucian scholar, teacher and writer of Chinese poetry. The eldest son born in Hita to a wealthy merchant family, Tanso, as he is commonly referred to, was, according to accounts, a bright and diligent student.

Read more

Sorin Otomo
Otomo (1530-1587), who held sway as the daimyo samurai lord across much of modern-day Oita Prefecture, is held in good regard by the locals to this day.

Read more

Shozo Uichi
Uchii began his career in the offices of the influential architect Kiyonori Kikutake. Most of his work is found in Tokyo including the Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo, a private residence at the Imperial Palace, and Moto Azabu Hills Forest Tower.

Read more

Oita Miura Baien
Muira Baien (1723-1789), born into the family of a physician, spent most of his life in a small village in central Kunisaki and followed his father in also becoming a physician. A prolific thinker, Baien also became a philosopher, scientist and astronomer whose fame spread throughout Edo Japan.

Read more

Korechika Annan
A contemporary of Mamoru Shigemitsu, Korechi Anan (1887-1945), who was born in Taketa, was a military man throughout his adult life and rose to the rank of general in the Japanese Imperial Army before finally being appointed War Minister in the Japanese cabinet towards the end of the Second World...

Read more

Oita Oita City
Tatsuno was one of Japan’s celebrated western-style architects of the Meiji Period, when Japan rapidly changed from a feudal, samurai-led society into a modern society modelled on western principals.

Read more

Oita Asakura Fumio
This lovely, cosy museum in park setting is dedicated to local son Fumio Asakura, who is regarded as Japan’s leading exponent of natural-realism western-style sculpture, so much so he is sometimes likened to Rodin.

Read more

Fumihiko Maki Nakatsu
Maki studied architecture under Kenzo Tange at University of Tokyo before going on to study at Harvard University.

Read more

Baien no sato
Baien-no-Sato is a small, onsen hot spring resort atop a hill in the centre of the Kunisaki Peninsula. It also has the additional and very unusual attraction for a hotel of a 65cm reflecting telescope used for star gazing into our Universe and far beyond into deep space.

Read more

Core Yamakuni
Kuryu began his career with Fumihiko Maki’s before establishing his own architectural practice. His works include the Uemura Naomi Memorial Museum in Toyooka, Japan; Byodoin Hosho-kan Museum in Kyoto; and the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.

Read more