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Ende-Boeckmann

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Ende-Boeckmann was a German architectural firm originally hired by Foreign Minister Inoue Kaoru to design and build the National Diet Building, High Court, and Ministry of Justice.

Their initial designs incorporated Japanese or Oriental(ist) architectural features, such as pagoda towers and sweeping roofs. In 1889, a new cabinet under Yamagata Aritomo sent the Germans back to the drawing board, demanding more fully Western designs.

The firm ended up completing the High Court and Ministry of Justice, but after minister Matsukata Masayoshi condemned the great cost of the latter (991,000 yen, roughly four to five times the cost of the Imperial Hotel or Rokumeikan), only a temporary wooden Diet Building was completed, rather than the grander, more permanent one they had planned for. Their contract was cut short in 1890 after these buildings were completed, and the government turned to Japanese architects to complete other government buildings.

References

  • Dallas Finn, "Reassessing the Rokumeikan," in Ellen Conan (ed.), Challenging Past and Present: The Metamorphosis of Nineteenth-Century Japanese Art, University of Hawaii Press (2006), 233, 235.
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