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Quite a few old Western-style buildings still remain in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture.

Hirosaki City is one of the fifty-one earliest municipalized local bodies in Japan in April,1889. This city was earnestly tackling the modernization of the social system at that time, so that many Westerners mainly from the US, such as missionaries, teachers and technical experts, were invited to the city. That's why so many Western-style buildings were constructed for the sake of them in Hirosaki and its outskirts from the second half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century. This city fortunately escaped the fierce air raids during the Second World War, so the majority of these buildings still remain here and there in the city. The similar examples are also found in Otaru and Hakodate both in Hokkaido though, Hirosaki's Western-style buildings are characterized by the wooden ones. This is attributed to an obvious reason, that is, most Western buildings here were constructed by the hands of a local master carpenter "Horie Sakich" and his sons or his apprentices. Being highly appreciated as a great master carpenter for traditional Japanese-style buildings made of wood in Hirosaki, he dared to study Western-style buildings by himself through on-the-job-training in Hokkaido. Then, while working as a local master carpenter in Hirosaki, he taught Western-style architectural techniques to his sons and apprentices. The first picture shows the old dormitory for non-Japanese teachers of Too-gijuku College built in 1903, which is thought to be by Horie Sakich. The second picture is the old official house of the commander of the 8th division of the Imperial Army.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。


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