1855-1917. Architect. Katayama studied under the British architect Condor and was among the first, along with Kingo Tatsuno and Tatsuzo Sone, to graduate from the faculty of architecture, Kobu University (Now Tokyo University Faculty of Engineering). After working in the Ministry of Buildings, he moved to the Imperial Household Ministry and undertook many household-related buildings. His outstanding works include Togu Gosho (Crown Prince’s palace), the latter day Akasaka Rikyu and now State Guest House), and important cultural assets, the Nara National Museum and the Kyoto National Museum.
- Association with Minato City
Pioneer of palace architecture who designed Togu Gosho
While serving in the Ministry of Engineering, Katayama participated in the building of Prince Arisugawa’s palace. Katayama, who had observed palace architecture of various countries when he visited Europe for procuring interior decorations, was put in charge of the design of Nara National Museum upon his return home.
It was with Togu Gosho, which commenced work in 1899 and was completed 10 years later, that his true talent as an architect was demonstrated. The building was very decorative with a Neo Baroque exterior and a Rococo style interior, and it is said to be the essence of the Western-style building technique of Meiji Japan. For Katayama it was a big project that put his credibility on the line, but it must have been a misjudgment on the Meiji Emperor’s part to say it was “too indulgent.” Although the palace was used as a parliament library after the war, it was renovated as the State Guest House by Togo Murano around 1965.
The Western-style former palace of Prince Takeda is now used widely as the VIP hall of the Takanawa Prince Hotel. Katayama himself lived in Tango-cho in Akasaka Ward (now 4-chome, Akasaka), and his ashes were buried in Aoayama Reien.
Nihon Jinmei Daijiten (Japanese Biographical Dictionary) (Kodansha)
Minato-ku Shiseki Sanpo (Historical Walks of Minato Ward) (Gakuseisha)
Edo-Tokyo. Rekishi no sanpomichi 3; Minato-ku, Shinagawa-ku, Ota-ku, Meguro-ku) (Edo and Tokyo. Historical Walks 3; Minato Ward, Shinagawa Ward, Ota Ward and Meguro Ward) (Machi to Kurashisha)
Geihinkan (2-1-1, Motoakasaka)
Takanawa Prince Hotel Kihinkan (VIP Hall) (3-13-1, Takanawa)
Tomb of Tokuma Katayama (Aoyama Reien, 2-32-2, Minamiaoyama)
Geihinkan - Akasaka Rikyu (State Guest House and Akasaka Detached Palace) (Yoshio Watanabe)
Yokan wo tazuneru (Visiting Western-style Buildings) (Takahiro Senoo / Seishun Shuppansha)
Meiji no yokan 100-sen - Mima mite okitai, zenkoku ni nokoru meikenchiku (100 Western-style Buildings of Meiji - The Must-See Superb Buildings in Japan) (Hiroyuki Suzuki / Kodansha)