Architect: Mamoru Yamada
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year built: 1964
In 1964, the inauguration of two buildings designed by the Japanese architect Mamoru Yamada have sparked a lot of controversy.
If the lighthouse shape of the Kyoto Tower was criticized by being too modern for the ancient city, the Japan Martial Arts Hall – Nippon Budokan – from Tokyo was criticized for being… too traditional. Built for the Judo competition of the 1964 Olympics, the Budokan’s architecture was inspired by an old architectural masterpiece, the Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) from Hōryū-ji, Nara, the most famous building of its kind. The architect preserved in its design both the underlying pedestal and the octagonal shape of the roof (meant to suggest Mount Fuji), with a big giboshi (sacred gem protecting against evil spirits) on top.