In 1927 Architect Kikuji Ishimoto founds Kataoka-Ishimoto Architectural Studio, while Modern Architecture starts to be established in Japan.
In 1951 the Studio, is reorganized to take the shape of the structured society called Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. we know today, and Architect Kikuji Ishimoto is the Chairman.
In 1999 Ishimoto A&E opens Ishimoto Europe in Milan, Italy, to manage european projects.
All over the world, Ishimoto employees 370 architects and engineers that work organized in 15-20 people teams.
Arch. Kikuji Ishimoto (1894-1963)
Kikuji Ishimoto was born in Kobe on February 15 1894, a time in which Japan was strongly pushing ahead with a plan to learn and adopt the Western culture, and was well on his way to become a flourishing modern state. As a child, Kikuji Ishimoto grew up in a typical working class environment and for all his life he kept his character which was to be a very firm point of his personality. This never changed, not even when he became Kikuji Ishimoto, the Architect.
In those years, renowned architects were all more or less tied to the big economic interests, and, as a matter of fact, the typical elite of architects was from the higher social classes and surrounded by an air of nobility. For this reason it can be safely said that Kikuji Ishimoto always was a different person. (even if you don't go on reading this massive wall of text)
Kikuji Ishimoto entered the Faculty of Architecture Engineering Department of the Tokyo Imperial University. In those days when he moved his first steps as an architect, somewhere in Europe a movement that later was to be predominant all over the world was taking shape.
This was the Secession Movement which began with Otto Wagner and took somehow formal shape thanks to Walter Gropius during the Weimar Republic in the very middle of World War I, known as the Modern Movement. It was because the socialist and democratic thinking which started gaining strength in those years in various countries that in the “Mecca” of the new architecture movements, that is to say Weimar, the Secession began organizing educational activities for young architects coming from all over the world.
In such a context, new figures appeared in the architectural world such as Erich Mendelsohn, Bruno Taut, Peter Behrens. These were all people with a strong and original personality who pursued above all rationalism and functionalism. An aspect which was common to all of them was the complete refusal of the traditional architecture styles which were transmitted over a long stretch of time without interruption. These people were animated by an almost abnormal passion and were poised to destroy a firmly established tradition.
Such influences were relatively less strong in the United States, as the Country was not directly hit by the disaster of war, and in Japan which at the time was still a developing nation not involved in the sphere of the war. In those days in Japan an architecture based on classical styles though without firm theoretical principles was still prevailing. In the classrooms of the faculty of architecture of Japanese universities project designing was taught night and day by having the students repeat over and over again exercises according to the classical styles.
In the classrooms of the Faculty of the Engineering of the Department at Tokyo Imperial University there were architecture students who because of their young age were boiling to change this situation. First among them was Kikuji Ishimoto who with about twenty coeds, such as Sutemi Horiguchi, Mayumi Takizawa, Shigeru Yata, Mamoru Yamada, Keiichi Morita, and Chikatada Kurata who joined later, strongly sympathized with the Modern Movement.
In February 1920 they founded the Japanese Secessionist Group and in July of that same year they organized in the Hakuboya Department Stores the first exhibition of the Secessionist Group. On that occasion, the publishing firm Iwanami Shoten published the volume "First Selection of Architecture Works by the Secessionist Group".
In the foreword to the volume there appeared the
DECLARATION OF THE JAPANESE SECESSIONIST GROUP:
We rise up,
we part from the architecture of the past so as to create a new school which give a true meaning to all constructions
We rise up
so as to awaken all those sleeping in the architectural sphere of the past, so as to rescue all of those on the point of drowning.
We rise up
to realize this ideal of ours and we offer with joy all we possess, even at the risk of falling, even at the risk of dying.
We all swear this to the world.
The Japanese Secessionist Group of Kikuji Ishimoto organized up to the year 1928, nine exhibitions and published three selections of works and three books. The Group took also charge of the project for the Pavilion of the Tokyo Peace Exhibition which was held in 1922.
The Japanese Secessionist Group of Kikuji Ishimoto and followers is considered the first architecture movement of modern Japan. Their works extensively influenced those who later pursued a modern idea of architecture. After the "Japanese Secessionist Group" many movements newly made public their ideals and points of view through magazines and exhibitions.
The Japanese Secessionist Group of Kikuji Ishimoto and followers was originated by the Secession movement of Wien but it never had a direct link with it. In those years was still dominant in Japan an architecture based on copying classical styles although without rigorously adopting its firm theoretical principles. In the classrooms of the faculty of architecture in Japanese universities project designing was taught night and day by having the students repeat over and over again exercises according to the classical styles. The group rose up against this situation with the slogan "Let's part from the architecture of the past".
In this period, in the magazine "The World of Architecture" Kikuji Ishimoto wrote in an article what follows hereunder:
"The fundamental question is to object to the rules followed by the Imperial University architects. Architecture is art and poetry. Today, however, we see the development in our period of negative influences where the structuralist groups are prevailing. It is not possible to aspire to become by oneself a good planner and a good structuralist at the same time, unless one is a real genius. Planners and structuralists in fact are two distinct figures which are to be professionally formed separately. The Faculty of Architecture of the Engineering Department must aim at the formation of Bachelors in Architecture = Bachelors in Art = Architecture Engineers, while it is necessary to found separately a Faculty of Architecture Planning".
These phrases allow us to see clearly into the personality of a young architect sincerely inspired with great courage, as well as an aspect of his way to perceive architecture planning. There is enough material to convince us that these theoretical assertions, if modified in some partial wordings, underline aspects of an immortal truth which is still valid today.
Kikuji Ishimoto graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the Engineering Department of Tokyo Imperial University in 1920. His graduation project was "Proposal of an Ossuary for a Family". This ossuary was named "Absorbed in tears".
After graduation, he took up work at the Planning Section of Takenaka Komuten, a general partnership company, and was active for about two years both in the office and as a member of the"Japanese Secessionist Group". In the years 1922-23 he went to Germany and Austria where he studied at Bauhaus under the direction of Gropius, and therefore had the possibility to learn right where the European Modern Movement was born.
At that time, the German economy was exhausted after the defeat in World War I. The mark was weak and new banknotes were being printed all the time. Right in the middle of that terrible situation of superinflation and devaluation, the dollar-denominated yen of Kikuji Ishimoto had an extraordinary purchasing power. Taking advantage of the favorable conditions, he bought and brought with him to Japan a great number of architecture books that were at the time difficult to find in his homeland, as well as many works of young painters such as Kandisky, Archipenko and Zadkine.
After returning to Tokyo in 1924, he published "Album of Architecture", which was one of the volumes of the "Japanese Secessionist Group". This was a collection of his impressions and photos of his days in Europe. Also, in the same year, the third selection of works by the"Japanese Secessionist Group" was published with the title "Works by the Architecture Society of the Japanese Secessionist Group". In this selection were inserted "Composition" and "Department Store", works consisting of photos of models in which are evident the influences of European architecture of that time.
In September 1923 when Kikuji Ishimoto returned to Japan, all of a sudden there occurred the Great Kanto Earthquake which instantly transformed Tokyo in a sea of ruins. It was because of these circumstances that the traditional styles, which had firmly taken root up to that day, were finally swept away when the reconstruction work after the earthquake speedily began.
Because of the earthquake, the site of the enlargement works of the building housing the new headquarter of the journal Asahi was reduced to ruins. The publishing house then suddenly decided to purchase another piece of land and asked the building contractor Takenaka Komuten to take charge of the planning of a new building. A competition was held within the planning section of the company and to the owner of the publishing firm, Tatsuhira Murayama, 4 projects were proposed, one by Kikuji Ishimoto. Murayama immediately chose this as he was deeply struck. Thus came the occasion for Architect Kikuji Ishimoto to move his first step with a project in which he was allowed to realize his dreams and aspirations.
The works of the headquarter of the daily Asahi in Tokyo were were completed in March 1927. It was an above-ground 31-meter high building with clear influences from Mendelssohn. In the details, there was an ample use of geometrical forms which Kikuji Ishimoto had acquired in the cradle of the Secession movement in Wien. These forms were further developed in the stained glass and in reliefs, and it was thanks to the combination of these with semioval windows that a decisively particular atmosphere was created. This work made a sensation on the whole architecture world of Japan. At that time, it was still customary to describe the style of a building. When Kikuji Ishimoto was asked to elaborate on this he said :"It's a proposal for a transition from a 20th century general style to an international architecture style".
This was the open question to the world that was asked with the realization of the first work by Architect Kikuji Ishimoto.
In this period there are other works by him, such as the Tokyo Branch of Yamaguchi Bank (1923), the Kyoto Gion Branch of Nomura Bank (1924), and the Nishinoda and Kobe branches of the Osaka Saving Bank (1925). Besides these and other banks Kikuji Ishimoto gave proof of being a leader of the new architecture also in the realization of housings.
Kataoka-Ishimoto Architectural Studio (1927-1930)
It happened around the time when the office building of the Tokyo Asahi Shimbun (a daily newspaper) was nearing completion. Nishino, president of Shirokiya Department Store and a man with business methods that were unique for their times, wanted to make a clean break with conventional department store buildings with their blend of Eastern and Western elements, and create something totally new that would blaze a trail into the future. Seeing the newspaper company's new offices, Nishino fell in love with the design by architect Kikuji Ishimoto and commissioned him to design the Nihonbashi headquarters of Shirokiya Department Store, thus realizing a dream he had cherished for many years.
For a period since 1926, Kikuji Ishimoto had been a lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Kyoto Imperial University where he was responsible for educating the next generation of architects. But Kikuji Ishimoto was also uncertain about the direction his own life should take. One day when he was riding on the train he happened to meet Yasushi Kataoka, a lecturer in the same department who held a doctorate in architecture. Dr. Kataoka was also acting as president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an illustrious address for the financial world of the Kansai region. Ishimoto asked the other man whether he should give up his position at Takenaka Komuten and become a researcher at Kyoto Imperial University or whether he should become a professional architect. Dr. Kataoka spontaneously told Ishimoto to become an architect and promised all possible support, even offering to open a joint architectural bureau with him. Hearing this, Kikuji Ishimoto resolved to open an architectural office with Kataoka, his senior at the university.
September 16, 1927, the day of the ground-breaking ceremony for the first construction phase of the main Shirokiya Department Store, was also the founding date of the Kataoka-Ishimoto Architectural Studio. This marked the start of the more-than-80-year history of the Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm.
After leaving Takenaka Komuten and establishing himself as an architect, Kikuji Ishimoto had turned his own home into an office where he devoted all his time to designing the main store of Shirokiya Department Store. The design called for a total floor space of 50,000 square meters, one of the largest areas for such a facility at that time. There were to be two underground floors and eight floors above ground in a 30 meter concrete structure made with steel girders. Constructed in three phases, the structure reached its final form in 1957. Ishimoto used the basic design for the first and second building phases in promoting an implementation design for the first stage which accounted for about one third of the total.
Department stores at that time were veritable citadels in traditional style geared at an elite public and characterized by mannerisms and high priced items. The new Shirokiya Department Store in Tokyo's Nihonbashi district was a major structure that went against this trend and transformed the traditional image of the department store in Japan. Kikuji Ishimoto made generous use of the so-called "Secessionist" style (art-nouveau style originating in Wien) for the outer and inner walls as well as the designs of the stained glass windows and reliefs. In the first floor sales area he created a hall with a second floor gallery. Foreseeing a future connection with the subway line, Ishimoto created the underground floors with sufficient height so that they would be on the same level as the subway's connecting entrance. He also extended the sales area to include the second floor underground. Another innovation was recessing the outer peristyle from the outside wall to obtain a freedom of design in which the outer wall surface was created on cantilevered edges.
All of these were epoch-making developments at that time. Indeed, Ishimoto's outstanding ideas were praised as very rational and sensible each time the structure underwent renovations in later years.
The border separating the section for the first and second stages on the roof included a clock tower with an oval plane surface completely surrounded by glass blocks. There was a structural division into two parts. There was mounting of one half each in the respective sections for the first and second stages. These were then connected solely by the clock face to create a unified and unique design.
The problem of transportation between floors was solved with an elevator measuring 75 square meters (an unimaginable size at the time) next to the store's entrance. The customer stairway featured an extremely gradual slope in consideration of women of Tokyo's Shitamachi district who still mainly wore Japanese clothes. However, when it came to the travertine marble used for the floors of the first floor sales area, because of the Japanese living and road conditions at that time, mud collected in the holes in the travertine stone. Kikuji Ishimoto later regretted using the stone and warned his staff about any further use of the material.
At any rate, built amid a general trend toward aristocratic tastes in department stores, the Shirokiya Department Store gained sympathy as an edifice representing the common people of the Shitamachi district. This would not have been possible were it not for the by Kikuji Ishimoto, a man who had been raised in such an environment and who retained that plebeian character throughout his career.
The architectural achievements of Kikuji Ishimoto from this period featuring the so-called "Secessionist" style included the home of the writer Yasuko Miyake (1928), the headquarters of Tokyo Yamakano-Shokai (1930), the Yokohama Yakko Restaurant (1932), the Ginza Palace (1932), and the Coffee shop Ginza Konparu(1933).
Nevertheless, typical Secession patterns underwent major revisions as Kikuji Ishimoto himself tired of a purely Secession style after a while.
Architectural creations which bear witness to this change include the Hiroshima Branch of Fukutoku Insurance (1929), The Kure Branch of the Yamaguchi Bank (1929), the Asahi Newspaper Employee's Club (1929) and the home of the artist Seiji Togo (1930). The most representative example in this group is the Yokohama Branch of the Tokyo Asahi Newspaper Company which was completed in 1931. By this time the Secession patterns had faded, giving way to a design more akin to an international style emphasizing horizontal lines of the canopy on each floor.
Ishimoto Architectural Studio (1931-1950)
With Yasushi Kataoka's(1894-1963) retirement in 1931, the Kataoka-Ishimoto Architectural Studio became the Ishimoto Architectural Studio. This marked a new start for Kikuji Ishimoto. In the ensuing years, the bureau continued to flourish as an architectural office with many fine achievements. As for design, Kikuji Ishimoto himself had developed to the stage where he could dispense with the doctrinaire attitude of the Secession school which refused any compromises with architectural styles of the past. He was now at the point where he could objectively appraise former architectural styles as a memorial to the past. Thus, many of his works from this period could be viewed as more conservative and functional. Kikuji Ishimoto also tended to leave designs in the hand of his senior staff at the office. In addition to his growing awareness of the importance of conservatism, Kikuji Ishimoto made efforts to connect the playfulness of form with function and rationality. He was also searching for a kind of authority that would determine designs in the midst of that confusion.
Representative works of this period include the following: The Nagoya Branch of the Sanjuyon Bank (1934), the Hakata Stock Exchange (1934), the headquarter building of Nippon Typewriter (1936), the Fukuoka Branch of the Mitsui Bank (1937) and the Oita City Hall (1937). Kikuji Ishimoto had continued to develop as an architect from the period in which he had designed the Tokyo Asahi Newspaper offices or the Nihonbashi branch of Shirokiya Department Store. This evolution marked the start of a second creative period characterized by efforts to connect all designs with function. The most representative example of this period is the Kikuji Ishimoto's residence itself which was completed in 1939 in Tokyo's Gotanda district. Not stopping at design of the house, Kikuji Ishimoto even designed the furniture and porcelain eating utensils.
During this same period, Kikuji Ishimoto also raised up many outstanding architects. In one corner of the garden at the Ishimoto residence is a bronze sundial measuring 40 centimeters in diameter which was donated by his staff to commemorate completion of the house. The names of his staff at that time are engraved on the side of the sundial. Among them is the poet Michizo Tachihara. The staff of the Ishimoto Architectural Studio included many outstanding individuals who later became heads of illustrious architectural offices in Japan or who were active in architectural design or in education.
The Ishimoto Architectural Studio continued to flourish, emerging as one of the leading institutions of its kind in Japan.
The outbreak of the Shino-Japanese war in 1937 eventually led to the Second World War. The field of architecture also tended to concentrate on facilities for the military as the demand for leisure facilities and commercial architecture experienced an attendant decline. The trend toward rationalism and functionalism, which had been making steady progress up to then, descended now to the level where only the form remained in military facilities. As architecture became bare of any expressive element, there was an inevitable trend toward reactionary and ultranationalistic motifs.
Sensing ahead of time that there would be no longer be any commissions from the private sector, the Ishimoto Architectural Studio became a member of the Facilities Assistance Association (Shisetsu Kyoryoku-kai) which had been created to receive orders from the military for designs. It gave its assistance to creation of military facilities and transferred its attention to assisting in their design.
As the ravages of war began to extend to Japan itself, orders for normal structures, civilian or military, became almost non-existent. In response, the bureau transferred its actual headquarters to the Chinese mainland. The year 1938 saw the founding of the Ishimoto-Kawai Architectural Studio in Shinkyo (now Changchun), which was then the capital of the Japanese colony of Manchuria. This was accomplished with the aid of Sadao Kawai who later became the Director of the Building and Repairs Department of the Ministry of Construction. The studio simultaneously opened a branch in Shanghai. In this way they sought a means of survival with facilities in northern and central China, not to mention design orders from the military. Kikuji Ishimoto shuttled between Tokyo and these other offices to supervise operations.
With Japan's defeat in 1945, the studio was forced to stop operations in Changchun and Shanghai. Nevertheless, they were able to continue activities in a corner of the Takeda Kyobashi Building located near the Yaesu Exit of Tokyo Station. It was the only structure in the immediate area which had survived the fire bombings.
Like most other architectural offices at that time, the Ishimoto Architectural Studio was busy creating charts to measure the actual condition of the buildings which were to receive the occupation troops. This was work commissioned by a Special Procurement Studio. Ishimoto Architectural Studio was also responsible for supervising so-called "dependent houses," facilities for the families of occupation forces. Another commission from the Ministry of Construction called for creation of standard designs for minimum group housing consisting of four-stores structures.
During this same period Kikuji Ishimoto was busy responding to government demands for minimum housing and had the encouragement of the Ministry for Recovery from the War. For this reason, he left direction of the Ishimoto Architectural Studio in the hands of Yasaji Nagano who had been joint managing the office since the end of the war. In 1946, Kikuji Ishimoto founded the Shin-Nippon Housing KK, became its first general manager and started sales of minimum housing. They were wooden structures measuring 40-50 square meters and produced with original Ishimoto designs.
In the period of one or two years after the founding of the new company, Ishimoto was busy supplying housing to people who had lost everything in the war. Nevertheless, there were no real professionals in the construction industry and thus no hopes of success when dealing with real estate companies which placed everything in the hands of the existing building companies. There was also little chance of success if Kikuji Ishimoto, an architect at heart, was to be burdened with the responsibilities of general manager. As the economic situation worsened, it became difficult to procure materials. This led to closing of the company in 1950, after which Kikuji Ishimoto devoted himself again solely to managing the architectural bureau. It was a time when Japan was starting to extricate itself from the confusion of the post war period. The architecture industry also was showing signs of returning to normality.
Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm in 1951-2000
The Ishimoto Architectural Studio went back to its original architectural design business, being able to take advantage of the upward wave experienced by the Japanese economy in the post-reconstruction years, and achieve consistently high growth rates.
The time had arrived, however, when the Ishimoto Architectural Studio, established and continuously leaded personally by Kikuji Ishimoto, founder and architect himself, encountered its dimensional growth limit. From then, the object of the architectural design activity was going to shift in the direction of higher levels in terms of dimension, complexity and diversification, thus requiring the studio to move toward organizational changes and corporate regrouping.
Substituting the personnel hiring procedure based on the apprentice system with a more modern one, and obtaining an Architects' studio able to perpetuate itself despite the personnel turn-over in its management, were the first conclusions reached by Kikuji Ishimoto, strongly motivated in creating a new Architects' and designers' studio properly equipped.
In 1951 the Ishimoto Architectural Studio, underwent a reorganization and incorporation from a self-employer entity, into the Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc., and Kikuji Ishimoto was appointed President.
Kikuji Ishimoto showed himself as a man of far sight, when a growing number of Architectural Studio in the postwar years were undergoing the process of incorporation in order to apply for the corporate tax regime subsequent to the Tax Reform. Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. was among the very first newly incorporated studios.
Among the most representative achievements of the newly established Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc., many projects symbolize the prosperity reached by the Japanese people, as the Hakata Grand Theater (1952), the Tokyo Ginza Cabaret Mimatsu (1954), the Osaka Minami Cabaret Bijinza (1955), the Hiroshima City Stadium (1957) and other buildings for recreational purpose. Relevant projects were undertaken also in the public housing sector, where the reputation previously acquired in the housing complex projects on behalf of the Ministry of Construction, led the company to the awarding of joint-ownership housing contracts in many locations around the country by the Japan People's Housing Corporation.
Kikuji Ishimoto, looking into the forthcoming times with farsighted, predicted that the market for citizens' constructions was going to boom in the next future, and expressed the desire for Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. to build up a special strength in this sector. As far as the rules of the economic doctrine seek the highest welfare for the largest number of people, then Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. was posted to take the lead in the construction of public building, which are instrumental to the life of citizens living in the economy, first of all city halls and municipal offices.
Exactly in 1953 was awarded the construction management contract relative to the extension works of the annex building of the Ashigaka city municipal office, which happened to be the first case in the postwar era.
Thereafter Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. could proudly present itself as a privileged actor in the public construction sector for cultural purposes, including municipal offices, city halls, museums, libraries and gymnasiums.
As the scope of the activities of Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. was enlarging and covering the whole country, Kikuji Ishimoto, in order to cope with the increasing demand, opened new branches in Osaka (1957), Sapporo (1957), Nagoya (1963) and a liaison office in Fukuoka in 1961. This represented the real management test of an incorporated Architectural Studio, and a test for Ishimoto Architecture & Engineering Firm, inc. itself, which had been the pioneer of the incorporation.
In 1956, just when Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. was going to celebrate the 30th anniversary from its foundation, Kikuji Ishimoto suffered an hearth-stroke attack while assisting to the final works relative to the Atomic victims memorial in Hijiyama city, Hiroshima prefecture. From then, his life became a struggle between rehabilitation and frequent hospitalizations. Also from his hospital bed, Kikuji Ishimoto kept his nature of work's evil, instructing severely his staff, but at the same time maintaining continuously his sympathetic and sensible attitude as educator. He was used to say that after joining Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. and spending three years there, one acquired the proficiency to cope with everything.
This assertion was demonstrated by the far more than 100 professionals coming from Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. operating in the front lines of the architecture and design domains in the country.
During the long struggle with his disease, which lasted for seven and a half years, he received in 1958 the Ranjuhosho prize, showing the extent of the leadership commonly recognized him in the fields of design, architecture and supervision, on the grounds of his outstanding contribution to the development and progress of the architectural design in Japan.
In 1959 Yasaji Nagano assumed the position of President, as Kikuji Ishimoto stepped down from the management of Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. assuming the title of Chairman with representing power.
On November 27th, 1963, Kikuji Ishimoto, Architect, left this world, at the age of 69, leaving behind him imperishable achievements.
At that time Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. was celebrating its tenth year of activity since the incorporation, having maintained its growing momentum since then, and still continuing to develop and grow following the principles laid down by its founder. On the very base of the discernment of Kikuji Ishimoto in relation to management, and his clear vision of the future, we can appreciate how farsighted he was in putting the company on the track reorganization it so early.
In 1973, on the occasion of its 45th anniversary since its foundation, Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. completed its new main building in Kudan, in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo, where it transferred its main office after having always kept its premises in leased buildings. The company has grown at that time to a large organization employing 220 persons.
In 1984 Seiichi Furuhata succeeded in the post of President, while Yasaji Nagano assumed the title of Chairman. In order to impress a further thrust to the development momentum of Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc., Seiichi Nagano established in 1986 KI Consultants Co., inc. with a supporting role for all the activities that Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc. could not follow directly, and in 1991 the new company Planet U&A, inc. was established in order to offer plans and concepts belonging to the soft area of architectural design. Finally, in 1987, ISHIMOTO AMERICA INC. was established in Portland, U.S., anticipating the forthcoming information and globalization age. In 1992 Ishimoto America inc. was jointly established with the American company IDC and at same time, in Japan, the IDC JAPAN INC. was jointly established with Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc.
The representative offices of Sendai and Yokohama, originally conceived as domestic liaison offices, were transformed in the Tohoku Branch and Yokohama Branch respectively, in order to perform not only activities of gathering of information, but also full-fledged architectural design and supervision.
In 1997, elapsed the seventieth anniversary of the foundation of Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, inc., by the architect Kikuji Ishimoto, Michio Sugawara succeeded in the post of president and C.E.O., while Seiichi Furuhata assumed the title of Chairman.
In 1999, Ishimoto Europe was founded in Milan Italy.
In 2005 Ishii Makoto succeeded in the role of President, while Michio Sugawara took the post of Chairman.
We had its celebration of 80th anniversary and we are all bringing into the 21st century, within us, the teachings of the Master, and of the many other great teachers who came before us.
At present, 2011, about 370 people are employed by the company, which extended the scope of its operations from the construction management activity, into restructuring and facilities management as well, up to the current situation where joint projects with foreign architects and architecture firms are undertaken almost on a daily basis.