Back - List of Pavilions

Japan - Expo Paris 1889

Japan at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889

Japan has devoted no less than 650,000 francs to its Exhibition which, let us say it quickly, is absolutely magnificent and particularly successful.

Viscount Tanaka, his official representative in Paris, Mr. Yanagya, the general commissioner, and their kind and skilful assistants, Mr. Narushima Oshikawa, etc., are to be congratulated. But we must also congratulate Mr. Ch. Gauthier, the architect of the Japanese section, who has made marvellous use of the specimens of Japanese art that he had to frame and bring out.

See, rather, the facade overlooking the Avenue de Suffren, then, to the right of the entrance, the two doors of a seigneurial dwelling and the fragment of Japanese temple architecture, then again, to the left, the entrance to a Daïmio castle,

The roofs, wood and stones here are all Japanese - and from the 16th century. The carved Klyaki wood door is a masterpiece. Door, painting, lacquered frame, bronze characters were sent from Japan and put in place by Japanese workers.

Let's go in, however. From the vestibule, the enchantment begins with two paintings by Henri Matto, a French artist who made excellent use of Nipponese documents, next to the Daimio crests (16th century). Doors and m are covered with maku, crepe doors, purple and white, while inside the galleries an exquisite Japanese paper, with sugi wood friezes, covers all walls.

Let us only mention, for lack of space, the shape of the showcases and their sculpted wood, then the central lounge with its no less beautiful wood and its wild cocoon carpets. There, silks, porcelains, cloisonne, lacquers, sculptures, a thousand riches stop and hold you.

After this dazzling experience, if we go on to the contents of the showcases, if we study closely these 1,500 square metres (not including the vestibule), we will know the whole of Japan and we will have exhausted our enthusiasm by arriving, at the end of the galleries, in front of the torii, the exquisitely decorative entrance doors to the temples. So we will come back the next day and the days after to see, in the galleries, the blinds, the fabrics, everything that we missed in the flicker of our first visit.

There are in fact 596 Japanese exhibitors, 8 groups and 58 classes. Among the number, the one in which Japan shows its immense progress in public education is noteworthy.

© Guide Bleu du Figaro et du Petit Journal 1889