This shoin-zukuri (desk-centered) house, built in 17th century style, is located on the grounds of the Horticultural Center in the West Fairmount Park. The perfectly proportioned architecture of the main structure and adjoining tea house is enhanced by an ornamental garden and picturesque pond.
Shofuso, or the Japanese House, as it is informally known to Philadelphians, is in a style which would have been appropriate for an educated member of the upper class, such as a government official, high-ranking priest, or wealthy scholar. The extensive use of natural materials creates a serene harmony between the house and surrounding garden.
For over fifty years, the Japanese House and Garden, in Fairmount Park has served as a symbol of Japanese American friendship and is considered a cultural treasure in both Japan and America. The house was designed by Junzo Yoshimura in 1954 for exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art to introduce American audiences to Japanese design. The house was relocated to Fairmount Park in 1958 as a gift from the people of Japan.