Tsutome Tsutomeru, the young architect and visionary behind Tokyo’s biggest building, the Tsukiji fish market, died at age 66.
He was known as a visionary whose vision for Tokyo was unparalleled.
The architect was born in 1924 in Tohoku Prefecture, a region in northeast Japan known for its traditional architecture.
Born in Tokyo’s Ginza district, he was one of five children.
His parents were not farmers and he was raised in a traditional home.
His father worked in the rice industry and was a school teacher.
His mother worked in a local bakery.
Tsutoms family lived in a two-room home in the Tohyo area.
He started work on a family of four small houses in 1925 and completed them in 1928.
By 1930, the Tsutomes had four small homes totaling 30 square meters and had begun to sell.
The Tsutoman brand was born.
His first design for a building, The Tsukiji Fish Market, was a successful one, selling out in a few days.
In 1931, the company expanded into a larger design, the Taito Bridge.
The company’s second design, The Tower of Tokyo, was an early success and is still a top seller.
It also became a favorite among the Japanese population, with more than 3 million visitors a year.
In 1934, the Tokyo Stock Exchange was launched.
By 1939, the city had more than 4 million residents.
By the time he was 22, Tsutsumi had won a scholarship to study architecture at the Tokyo Conservatory of Art.
He designed buildings for a number of high-profile companies including Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Mitsukoshi, and Mitsuru.
His work was recognized throughout the world, including the prestigious New York Architecture Biennial.
In 1950, Tsutanami joined the Japanese government’s National Council of Design.
In 1961, he won the first International Design Award, for his design for the Tokyo Olympics.
In 1964, he received the prestigious International Academy of Architects Japan’s First Lifetime Achievement Award.
He died on June 27, 1977.