Three Japanese In Istanbul

The Istanbul Research Institute is looking into the early years of Turkey-Japan relations.

  The Suna and inan Kıraç Foundation’s Istanbul Research Institute is bearing witness to the start of 120 years of Turkey-Japan friendship and the lives of three exceptional Japanese through a new exhibition entitled, ‘Sun and Crescent / Three Japanese in Istanbul: Yamada Torajiro, Ito Chuta, Otani Kozui’. In the same period, the late 19th and early 20th century, Yamada Torajiro (1866-1957), Ito Chuta (1867-1954) and Otani Kozui (1876-1948) all took an interest in the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey and came to Istanbul.

All are important figures who took inspiration from Turkey in many of their works. Businessman and tea ceremony master Torajiro is the author of ‘Turkey - An Official Look’, which views Istanbul through the eyes of a contemporary Japanese. Chuta, an architect and professor and Japan’s first historian of architecture, left behind a detailed travel book about the Ottoman lands as well as drawings, photographs and lecture notes on works of architecture.

A Buddhist and researcher, Kozui first founded the Ankara Agro-Industry company together with Ataturk and later set up a silk weaving factory in Bursa with Mehmet Memduh Bey (Gökçen) and Kavalalı Hüseyin Bey. Accompanying the memories are a large number of historic monuments, artifacts and documents collected from museums and private collections in Turkey and Japan and brought to light for the first time.