The movement of housing improvement during the Taisyo period (1912`1926)

Nishimura Memorial House

He was born in Shingu, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, in September 1884. He was named Isaku after Abraham's son. His parents were devout protestants. But they died in the Noubi Earthquake, when he was seven years old. After that, he was brought up by his grandmother and his uncle Seinosuke Oishi.

Nishimura was especially influenced by Oishi. He was a doctor, who graduated from the medical department of Oregon State University. Oishi was interested in American modern culture; meal, houses, and so on. It was the most advanced new way of life in the world. He was interested in socialism, too. So he became a socialist.

Nishimura evaluated American bungalows highly. They had a livingroom that was most important in a house, and were simple and economic. Because in a Japanese house, the guest room occupied a lot of space. So domestic life was sacrificed. And Japanese houses were expensive, so most people could not have thier own houses. He built a small bungalow in Shingu, that imitated on American one, in 1906. It was the first American bungalow in Japan.

his bungalow"Tanoshiki Jyuka"

He published a book, titled "Tanoshiki Jyuka". It means "the house for a sweet home". In this book, he introduced western houses. And he insisted that the living room be the most important room in a small house. This book created a great sensation. After it was published, the same insistence appeared one after another. This book triggered the house with a living room in the center. Now in Japan, most of the new houses are western style and have such a plan.

He established Nishimura Architects Office in Kobe and Tokyo in 1921. He designed many houses and some churches, schools and offices. He made efforts to spread those houses throughout Japan.

Etou residence in Ashiya designed by Nishimura

Bunka Gakuin

In addition to his work in housing improvement, his important work was in education. He established a high school and college, named "Bunka Gakuin" in Tokyo in 1921. His education policy was liberalism.

He was a pioneer of housing improvement, and liberal education in the Taisyo period(1912`1926). His achievements were great. During the Taisyo period, many people claimed democratization and modernization in politics and many other fields. Nishimura was active in an atmosphere.

By Shuuji TANAKAicCij Shinguu city Wakayama prefecture Japan