Jirohachi SATSUMA, a generous donor
On 9 February 1927, Jirohachi SATSUMA, the grandson of a rich textile manufacturer, entered into an agreement with the Université de Paris to finance the construction of a building at the Cité internationale. The cornerstone was laid in 1927 in a ceremony attended by Prince Ri, Emperor Hirohito’s brother-in-law. Japan House was officially opened by André Honnorat, the founder of the Cité internationale, on 10 May 1929 and immediately began hosting students. Originally, the house’s 60 rooms were intended for deserving Japanese students.
Refined architectural style
Jirohachi SATSUMA called upon his friend Pierre SARDOU, chief architect of historical monuments. The narrow plot forced the architect to consider a tall building, but one inspired by Japanese constructions nonetheless. The subtle, refined décor is also typical of the Japanese architectural tradition. A wooden panel sculpted by Henri Navarre depicting the rising sun adorns the covered entryway. Inside, the great room is opened and closed with sliding doors as in traditional Japanese houses.
Did you know?
The great room and the lobby of Japan House are decorated with two murals by the famous painter Foujita, “Westerners come to Japan” and “Horses”.