The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE JAPANESE HO-O-DEN - A most cordial feeling for Japan instantly followed the official announcement that the Mikado, desiring to show his admiration for America, asked to present to the City of Chicago, for use during the World's Fair, and for maintenance by Japan permanently, in commemoration of 1893, a reproduction of the most ancient, most beautiful and most celebrated temple in Japan, the Ho-o-den, or house made like the Phoenix (bird). To carry out the designs of the Emperor, the sum of $650,000 had been set aside out of his private fortune. At a banquet given by the Mayor of Chicago and the Commissioners, to Mr. Tegina, the Commissioner for Japan, this magnificent gift was accepted, and early in 1892, a company of odd, merry and industrious Japanese artisans made their appearance in Chicago, with innumerable packages and timbers. Their operations on the Wooded Island were, thereafter, daily contrasted with the progress of Americans on the great Manufactures Building near by, and a more instructive picture could not have been offered. While a dozen Japanese were working their little wooden pile-driver, which struck a blow of one hundred pounds, a company of men not larger across the lagoon was raising iron arches with a span of nearly four hundred feet, two hundred and twenty feet high. The original Ho-o-den, near Kioto, Japan, is undeniably beautiful. It cannot be said that the modern Japanese builders caught the spirit or fancy of the ancient temple, which, poised over its lotus-pond, produced the impression that it might be some fabulous bird, with outstretched wings.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998