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 is a park in Nagasaki, Japanmarker built for Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish entrepreneur who contributed to the modernization of Japan in shipbuilding, coal mining, and many other fields. In it stands the Glover Residence, the oldest Western style house surviving in Japanmarker and Nagasaki's foremost tourist attraction.


It is located on the Minamiyamate hillside overlooking Nagasaki harbor. It was built by Hidenoshin Koyama of Amakusamarker island and completed in 1863. It has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset. As the house and its surroundings are reminiscent of Puccini's opera, it is also known as the "Madame Butterfly House." Statues of Puccini and diva Miura Tamaki, famed for her role as Cio-Cio-san, stand in the park near the house. This house was also the venue of Glover's meetings with rebel samurai particularly from the Chōshū and Satsuma domains.

The Glover Residence

The Glover Residence is noted for its blend of Western and Japanese elements and is an example of treaty port building. This type of architecture closely resembles one-story bungalows used by foreigners in Hong Kong or Shanghai and imported to Japan by British traders. Rather than following contemporary Victorian styles, this type of building more closely reflects the Georgian aesthetic popular in Britain during the previous generation.

The stone-floored verandas, latticed arches, and French windows are several of the distinctive foreign elements included in the residence, while Japanese influence can be seen in the tile roof with its demon-headed tiles intended to ward off evil. The roof was modified by adding unmistakably British chimneys.

The house was built by a Japanese carpenter, Koyama Hidenoshin. The plan for the house, which is still preserved, is unsigned. It is interesting to note that the plan uses feet instead of Japanese measurements. The basic construction of the house is Japanese, despite its foreign elements. It consists of traditional Japanese roof supports and post-and-beam frames set down on boulders.

Other Buildings

The park also includes Ringer House (built 1865 for Frederick Ringer) and Alt House (built for William Alt). The correct treatment of the Tuscan pillars and pediment at the Alt House suggest that this building was designed by a Western architect.

Tourism

The park is open to the public and attracts nearly 2 million visitors a year.

References

  • Finn, Dallas. (1995). Meiji Revisited: The Sites of Victorian Japan Weatherhill.



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