The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition announces that the closed buildings of Oritachi Junior High School, Totsukawa Village, Nara Prefecture, and the Nakade Branch of Hosomi Elementary School, Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture, will be used for the Signature Pavilion “to exist” by KAWASE Naomi, Thematic Project Producer for Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan.
Site surveys and demolition work will be conducted to relocate each school building. From around January 2024, the construction at the Expo site, Yumeshima, is scheduled to begin.
“The two school buildings were beautiful architectural structures with a sense of nostalgia that had been shared by people over the ages since the early Showa period. Even though it was my first visit, I felt a sense of nostalgia as if I had known this place for a long time, and at the same time, I could clearly sense that this place has been cherished for a long time.
I would like to utilize these closed school buildings to breathe new life into the pavilion.”
・Main structure: Wooden construction, 3 buildings (Entrance, Dialogue Theater, Meeting House in the Forest)
・Total floor space: About 1,500㎡
※ Summary Materials website:
https://www.expo2025.or.jp/wp/wp-content/uploads/kawase_2305.pdf (Japanese only)
An area to welcome visitors to the Signature Pavilion “to exist”
▽ Dialogue Theater
In the theater, two people who meet for the first time and know nothing about each other face each other and begin a once-in-a-lifetime dialogue. The speaker’s partner, who changes every time, is someone somewhere in the world. Through the dialogue, we transcend our differences and divisions, be they borders, races, religions, cultures, customs, etc.
▽ Meeting House in the Forest
An area where visitors can interact with each other and, surrounded by trees, enjoy the recordings of dialogues that take place in the “Dialogue Theater” as well as historical images of the relocation of the building.
©2023 Naomi Kawase/SUO, All Rights Reserved. / ©2023 Naomi Kawase/SUO, All Rights Reserved.
① Oritachi Junior High School (south wing), Totsukawa Village, Nara Prefecture: Entrance
② Hosomi Elementary School Nakade Branch, Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture: Dialogue Theater
③ Oritachi Junior High School (north wing), Totsukawa Village, Nara Prefecture: Meeting House in the Forest
・Oritachi Junior High School, Totsukawa Village, Nara Prefecture
The south wing of the school with a total floor area of 970.64 ㎡ will be the entrance of “to exist”. The building was built in 1952 in the Oaza-Oritachi area of Totsukawa Village, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture, and closed in 2012. And the north wing of the school with a total floor area of 943.17 ㎡ will be the Meeting House in the Forest. This was relocated from another area in 1965 and closed in 2012.
・Hosomi Elementary School Nakade Branch, Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture
A small one-story wooden branch school with a total floor space of 362.08 ㎡, built in 1930 at its current location in the Nakade area of Miwa-cho, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto and closed in 2002, will become the dialogue theater for ” to exist “.
● Totsukawa Village Hall Facilities Department
Totsukawa Village website：https://www.vill.totsukawa.lg.jp/
● Fukuchiyama City Hall Finance Department Asset Utilization Division Public-Private Collaboration Section
Fukuchiyama City Reutilization Project of Closed Schools website：
● Public Relations Department, Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition