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Isamu Noguchi

  • Biography
1904-1988. Sculptor. Born in Los Angeles, he arrived in Japan at the age of two to live with his father, Yonejiro Noguchi, a poet, but returned to the United States on his own at the age of 13. Later studied in Paris and became a sculptor. When he visited Japan again, he acquainted himself with its beauty while he visited Kyoto. During the Pacific War, he voluntarily placed himself in a Japanese detention camp. After the war, he went to Japan for the third time and became greatly influenced by Zen gardens and traditional techniques. In 1951 he married an actress, Yoshiko Yamaguchi (screen name, Koran Li), but the couple divorced in 1958. After the divorce, he vigorously worked in the United States and Japan and received acclaim as a world-class sculptor.

  • Association with Minato City
Coproduced the Shinbanraisha at Keio University

In the early Meiji era, Yukichi Fukuzawa built the “Banraisha” as a place where people could engage in dialogue, but the building burned down during the war. In 1952, Noguchi coproduced the common room Shinbanraisha at Keio University, which followed his original idea, with the architect Kichiro Taniguchi. Although Noguchi had mixed feelings at the time, finding himself trapped between Japan and America, but he was helped by the influence of his father, who had been a professor at Keio University. He assumed the challenge of creating an area with the intention of “reconciling himself with his father and the people of Japan” through the project. The common room has now been preserved as the Noguchi Room after being moved to the roof terrace in the south annex of the university.

In 1977, Noguchi designed “Heaven” in the lobby of Sogetsu Hall in Akasaka. The world-acclaimed space consisting of rocks and water still comforts the hearts of visitors every day.

Japanese Biographic Dictionary (Kodansha) Hyoden Isamu Noguchi (Dore Ashton / Hakusuisha)

  • Walking Points
Sogetsu Hall (7-2-21 Akasaka)

  • Related Publications
Isamu Noguchi - Shukumei no Ekkyosha, Parts 1 & 2 (Isamu Noguchi: The Fated Border Jumper) (Masayo Duus / Kodansha Bunko) Hyoden Isamu Noguchi (Isamu Noguchi: A Critical Biography) (Dore Ashton)
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