History of The Registered Architects Exams in Japan

“History of The Registered Architects Exams in Japan: Its Trends in Domestic Modern/Contemporary Architecture” (in Japanese) was published in The Journal of Kyoto Arts and Crafts University 3 (2023).

The Registered Architects Exams (for 1st and 2nd registered architects) in Japan that began in 1951 marked its 72nd year in 2022. It has a history of about three-quarters of a century that reflected the official, ever-reorganizing image of domestic architects. This paper analyzes 190 actual cases of modern and contemporary architecture and urban planning in Japan in the “Architecture and Planning” section of the Examination and clarifies the changes in the view of the architects’ profession. The first- and second-grade examinations can fall into three major phases: (1) the “common knowledge” phase (1951-1969), (2) the “housing and urban practice” phase (1970-2002), and (3) the “modern history review” phase (2003-). While the questioner bases the norms of the first period on Europe and the U.S., the second period saw a marked increase in questions on domestic built works related to habitat. The third period emphasizes examples of architectural preservation and utilization on the one hand and past exemplary but neglected works on which contemporary topics shed light on the other. Questions on domestic modern and contemporary architecture are increasing in number and importance, both to cover the diverse professions of architects and to reflect the accumulation of architectural examinations themselves.