Always: Huntington Library opens 320-Year-Old Japanese Heritage Shōya House

Exterior view of the Japanese Heritage Shōya House. Photo: Joshua White / The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens opened the Japanese Heritage Shoya House a resorted residential compound from 18th-century from rural Japan, on Oct. 21, 2023.

The Japanese Heritage Shōya House is a 3,000-square-foot residence built around 1700, served as the center of village life in Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture.

The compound has been reconstructed on a 2-acre site, which includes a newly constructed gatehouse and courtyard based on the original structures, as well as a small garden with a pond, an irrigation canal, agricultural plots, and other landscape elements that closely resemble the compound’s original setting.

Visitors will be able to walk through a portion of the house and see how inhabitants lived their daily lives within the thoughtfully designed and meticulously crafted 320-year-old structure.

Los Angeles residents Yohko and Akira Yokoi offered their historic family home to The Huntington in 2016. Huntington representatives made numerous visits to the structure in Marugame and participated in study sessions with architects in Japan before developing a strategy for moving the house and reconstructing it at The Huntington.

The compound occupies a recently developed area along the north end of The Huntington’s historic Japanese Garden. While the garden has featured an iconic Japanese House for the last 100 years, this new structure and surrounding elements provide visitors with a fully immersive experience, allowing them to walk through it and learn about 18th-century rural Japanese life.

The Shōya House opens from noon to 4 p.m.

Huntington Link: