The founding family of the old Mitsubishi organization left an impressive legacy of architecture and landscaping. Here are some of the principal examples.
Under the thatched roof of this modest home on the island of Shikoku were born Mitsubishi's first three presidents: founder Yataro Iwasaki, his brother Yanosuke, and Yataro's son Hisaya.
The British architect Josiah Conder designed this Tokyo mansion for Hisaya Iwasaki. This style is Jacobian, in the manner of the British Renaissance, and the interior is highly ornamental. Conder exerted a huge influence on Japanese architecture through his work for the Iwasakis and other prominent clients.
Yanosuke Iwaski commissioned Josiah Conder to design this palatial home on a hilltop in central Tokyo. The Mitsubishi companies use the building today for parties and press conferences.
Koyata Iwasaki relaxed at this resort home in pastoral Shizuoka Prefecture. Its sharply angled roof emulates the 16th century Tudor style of the United Kingdom.
A Japanese disciple of the British architect Josiah Conder designed this grand residence in Nagasaki. It overlooks Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' Nagasaki shipyard.
A confidant of one of the early Tokugawa shoguns built this sublime Japanese garden in what is now Tokyo. Yataro Iwasaki obtained the garden, which had suffered from years of neglect, and restored its landscaping. His descendents donated it to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
Hisaya Iwasaki summered at this home on his expansive Koiwai Farms, in northern Japan. The architecture is a distinctive combination of pyramidal roofs, tatami mat hallways, and raised floors.
Seikado Bunko / Seikado Bunko Art Museum
Seikado Bunko occupies an English-style country cottage in a quiet residential area of Tokyo. Koyata Iwasaki commissioned the building to store a priceless collection of Japanese and Chinese books and scrolls and to make those works available to researchers. He and his father, Yanosuke, had built the collection to help preserve the artistic and literary heritage of East Asia.
Yataro Iwasaki purchased the grounds of the estate of a fabulously wealthy merchant of the Edo era. He built a sublime Japanese garden on the site, and his heirs donated it to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
In 1917, Hisaya Iwasaki purchased the private library of George Ernest Morrison, an advisor to the Office of the President of the Republic of China, and improved on this collection of western language materials by increasing the number of classical Chinese books, then collecting and selecting sources from all over Asia. He had established this Japan's first library and research institution devoted exclusively to Asian Studies in 1924.