The roots of Japan House go back to 1964, when Shozo Sato, then artist-in-residence at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and now Professor Emeritus in the School of Art and Design, began a series of courses focusing on the art and culture of Japan.
Eventually, he was allowed to renovate an old Victorian house to teach classes. Amazingly enough, he managed to turn that Victorian house into a Japanese environment which was known as Japan House. He continued to teach classes and began the tradition of Open Houses and welcoming in the whole community.
For years, it was a center for the study of Japanese arts and aesthetics, but eventually the house had to make way for redevelopment of the campus.
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