The National Showa Memorial Museum (昭和館 / Shōwakan) is a national museum in Chiyoda, managed by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The museum is commonly referred to as the “Showakan” and primarily displays items illustrating the lifestyles of the Japanese people during and after World War II (the Shōwa period in the Japanese calendar). Originally to be named The War Victims Peace Commemoration Prayer Hall, the museum opened on 27 March 1999, partly in response to strong lobbying by the Japan War-Bereaved Families Association, whose headquarters are in the adjacent Kudan Hall. The museum building was designed by Japanese architect Kiyonori Kikutake. The Museum is located next to Kudanshita Station and the northern entrance to Kitanomaru Park.
Its architect, Kiyonori Kikutake, was a prominent Japanese architect known as one of the founders of the Japanese Metabolist group. He was also the tutor and employer of several important Japanese architects, such as Toyo Ito, Shōzō Uchii and Itsuko Hasegawa. He raduated from Waseda University in 1950. Kikutake is best known for his “Marine City” project of 1958, which formed part of the Metabolist Manifesto launched at the World Design Conference in Tokyo in 1960 under the leadership of Kenzo Tange. He, along with fellow member Kisho Kurokawa was invited to exhibit work at the “Visionary Architecture” exhibition in New York of 1961, through which the Metabolists gained international recognition. Kikutake continued his practice until his death in 2011, producing several key public buildings throughout Japan, as well as lecturing internationally.
Name: National Showa Memorial Museum│Type: Museum│Architect: Kionori Kikutake│Completed: 1998