Retro Japan: A 1956 church designed by a renowned architect offers tranquility in Tokyo

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TOKYO – A church designed by a renowned architect provides a quiet space for prayer despite its proximity to the bustling Meguro Station in the Japanese capital.






The Meguro Catholic Church near Meguro Station is seen in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district on June 13, 2022. (Mainichi/Akihiro Ogomori)=Click/tap photo for more images.

A dedication ceremony at the Meguro Catholic Church in the Shinagawa district of Tokyo took place in 1956. The site is often referred to as one of the masterpieces of Antonin Raymond, an architect who designed many churches in Japan.

A bent plate structure is used for the sides and ceiling of the church, creating harmony while making the building earthquake resistant. Sunlight streaming through slits in the folded sheet metal walls softly illuminates the altar.

According to chief priest Antonio Camacho Munoz, 58, the altar canopy in the shape of outstretched wings symbolizes the Holy Spirit and shines with gold – a color representing fire. The interlocking circles express the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is one of the important Christian doctrines.






The unique shape of the ceiling is seen at the Meguro Catholic Church in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district on June 13, 2022. (Mainichi/Akihiro Ogomori)=Click/tap photo for more images.

Camacho said, “Churches are places of peace between people. The church is essentially open to the public except during mass. This place of salvation keeps its doors open to the people.

(Japanese original by Akihiro Ogomori, Photo and Video Center)






Sunlight streams through slits on a bent plate wall of the Catholic Meguro Church in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district on June 13, 2022. (Mainichi/Akihiro Ogomori)=Click/tap photo for more images.

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The Japanese version of this article was originally published on July 3, 2022.

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This series explores the architectural marvels and secrets of Japan’s past. Read more articles about retro Japan here.

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