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The Kinkaku ‘Golden Pavilion’ is Kyoto’s most celebrated architectural monument. It is a UNESCO World Heritage property and testament to the influence and affluence of the warrior-aristocrat Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408). Despite Kinkaku’s opulence and architectural originality,
the attention given this single structure overshadows the history of the much larger complex within which it was originally built in the late 14th century: The Kitayama Villa. This presentation explores Kitayama’s material composition to demonstrate that the villa was a vast temple-palace
complex built to resemble a Chinese-style imperial capital.
DR MATTHEW STAVROS
Matthew Stavros is an historian of Japan at the University of Sydney and former director of the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies. He is the author of Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan’s Premodern Capital (2014) and Hōjōki: A Hermit’s Hut at Metaphor (2020). His research focuses primarily on the material culture of premodern Japan and eastern Asia, with particular interest in cities, buildings, and monuments. He trained in
architectural and urban history at Kyoto University and read history at Princeton University where he earned a PhD.
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BSB: 012 003 Account Number: 2185 28414
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