“A Flashback to 1964” is a series by Kyoto-based Jun Iwasaki for Palmes, which ponders Japanese architecture, and embraces its brutalist impact on the natural light, gifted to us by Modern Movement architects in 1964.
The Nara Prefectural Government Office was designed by Teruo Katayama in 1958, in Noborioji, the north of Nara, Japan, only six years before the construction of the Kasumigaoka Stadium, which served as the predominant stadium for the Tokyo Olympic opening and closing ceremonies in 1964. The structure was demolished in 2015 and passed into the ether of time.
In the same period, Japan saw the building of the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, and the Komazawa Olympic Park Sport Ground. The two created a bubble of Japanese modernism in architecture. Though 1964 might sound like a time from the history books to many, the architecture acts as a trap for poetic sunbeams throughout the day. Photographer Jun Iwasaki bought us along with himself and friends, to capture the building during its best hours.
Noting on his thoughts for the story, Iwasaki says: “An evening in early October which came softly with the sunset, where it seems only days since we escaped the last of the September sun, we fled the city to toss tennis balls back and forth. Speaking with nostalgia of cultural modernism in Japanese architecture, and reminiscing on the brightness of the year that was 1964. Such historical innovation in architecture no longer exists. Instead, we’re merely throwing balls, back and forth in the empty grounds, where those with more experience than us no longer do”.
Photography by Jun Iwasaki. Featuring graphic designer, Toru Kase, and artist, Chihiro Honda.