Sone Tatsuzo

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Sone Tatsuzô was an architect of the Meiji period, and a student of Josiah Conder.

His writings include various complaints against Charles Alfred Chastel de Boinville and John Diack, who preceded Conder as architecture teachers in Tokyo. Both, it would seem, lectured little, and offered little instruction of a theoretic or artistic/creative nature, instead focusing on the practical and technical aspects of architecture. Sone relates considerable relief at the changeover to Conder's teaching, writing that Conder was someone the students could respect not only as a practitioner, but as a scholar, someone with gentlemanly demeanor and more easily understandable English.

Sone graduated from the Imperial College of Engineering (Kôbu gakkô) in 1879, with a thesis, written in English, entitled "The Future Domestic Architecture of Japan." Discussing the history of Japanese architecture in a world and historical context, he draws upon Italian examples, among others, as useful models for the "modern" "Japanese Empire" going forward.


  • Toshio Watanabe, "Japanese Imperial Architecture: From Thomas Roger Smith to Ito Chuta," in Ellen Conant (ed.), Challenging Past and Present: The Metamorphosis of Nineteenth-Century Japanese Art, University of Hawaii Press (2006), 244-245.