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Missionary Influences
Monarchy Period
Territorial Architecture - The Golden Age
Ethnic Influences
Statehood to Today
Bibliography - Architecture



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Ethnic Influences

Although peoples from around the world have found their way to Hawai`i - Europeans, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Americans - the largest number have arrived from China and Japan and it's the Asian influence that is most visible in island architecture. The Chinese contributed moon gates and up-turned eaves. Japanese elements - many adapted from temple forms - are seen in hipped and gabled roofs, use of natural woods, X-shaped end beams, shoji screens, tatami rooms, gardens and koi ponds.

Honolulu's Chinatown, dating back to the 1860s, is the oldest in the nation. Many buildings in the area, like Wo Fat Restaurant (1882), are of typical Asian design. Temple designs include the Hopa Hongwanji Temple (1918) which combines Japanese and Indian architectural elements and the Byodo-in Temple in Kaneohe (1968) modeled on the 900-year old Buddhist temple in Uji, Japan. Adaptations of Asian architecture for Christian structures include Hart Wood's First Chinese Church of Christ (1929) and the Makiki Christian Church (1932) designed by Hego Fuchino, a Honolulu architect of Japanese ancestry.

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