Shofuso Japanese House Virtual Tour
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Recorded Spring 2023
Join us for a magical exploration of a stunning example of Japanese architecture: Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. Shofuso, which translates to Pine Breeze Villa, was designed in 1953 by architect Junzo Yoshimura as a late-16th- to early-17th-century Shoin-zukuri (Shoin style) structure. Now situated in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, Shofuso was originally installed as part of a series of model homes in the Museum of Modern Art’s sculpture garden. The exquisite landmark is composed of three main structures and three distinct gardens: the guest house with hill and pond viewing garden, the teahouse and roji tea garden, and the minka (farmhouse-style) kitchen and tsubo-niwa courtyard garden. The guest house’s main room, with a breathtaking garden view, is a 15-tatami-mat space with a built-in writing desk, tokonoma shelves, and waterfall murals by Hiroshi Senju. The hinoki (Japanese cypress) bark roof is the only roof of this kind found outside of Japan. We enter the tea house through the host’s entrance and revel in the space’s simple elegance and hidden stove. The bathhouse features a traditional ofuro soaking tub with convenient louvered walls for ventilation. The kitchen’s style represents the people’s architecture, with a doma lowered area with a wood-burning stove and a raised level with a tonsu cupboard. The garden was initially designed by Tansai Sano and was updated in the 1970s by Ken Nakajima. Shofuso was again named the third-ranked Japanese garden in North America by the Journal of Japanese Gardening in 2016 and was listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places in 2013. This scholarly and inspiring virtual tour is led by Visitor Services Supervisor Peter Ballman, who previously lived in Japan and is now in his third season at Shofuso. Peter and his family maintain ties to Japan both through his professional work at Shofuso as well as the Japanese Language School of Philadelphia (JLSP).
Registration Fee: Pay What You Can
After registration, you will receive an email with the link to the Virtual Tour.