Sogetsu HQ Building

One of the masterpieces of the world-renowned artist Isamu Noguchi, an indoor stone garden titled “Heaven,” welcomes visitors at the entrance to the Sogetsu Headquarters Building. The Sogetsu Plaza is known as an art spot which can be used for exhibitions and events. For more information, please contact

“Heaven” designed by Isamu Noguchi

“Heaven” designed by Isamu Noguchi
Photos by Takeshi Fujimori

Sogetsu and Isamu Noguchi

“Both my father Sofu and I knew Isamu well. I heard from my father that Isamu once said, “If you set a pine, it should not look like a pine. It is very difficult not to make it look like a pine, though. Am I right, Sofu?” My father took the words very seriously because, I think, they reflected Isamu’s original view of ikebana that the particularities of pine as a material are supposed to have been digested and assimilated into the completed ikebana work. I like these words very much, too.

Isamu viewed things from a broad and comprehensive perspective. He was a pioneer among environmental artists. When Isamu received the Kyoto Prize, I rushed to the symposium held there and congratulated him by calling him “Rikyu of the modern age.” Sen-no-Rikyu was a man of total artistic creation. He made all the artistic arrangements of a space to bring his guests into and offered the best possible hospitality. I heard that Isamu had a particular interest in Rikyu. The ultimate goal of interaction between people and arts, I believe, is to realize high levels of artistic endeavour for entertaining people. This is the way in which I see the connection between Rikyu and Isamu who created urban yet soothing spaces in this 20th century.

What I feel from Isamu’s recent stone sculptures is that he minimizes his own work on the stones while making the best use of their original beauty. When Isamu showed me around his studio in Takamatsu, he said to me, “Hiroshi, these works are my intrusions forgiven by nature (or stones).” The artist admits he is damaging the stones and yet he is forgiven by the stones…. Here I can see a total unity between the artist and the nature. The words are stunning to me as they express his view of the arts modestly but clearly. Isamu reached to such heights in his later years. Including the previous comments on pine, his words, coming out of his mouth after thinking hard and leaving out trivial matters due to his limited fluency in Japanese, can astonishingly move people’s hearts.

Isamu left us a marvelous monument in Sogetsu Headquarters Building, that is, the Sogetsu Plaza of “flowers, stones, and water” in an open space through two floors. It was my father who proposed to ask Isamu to design there when some 70% of construction of the building was already completed. This came true thanks to the consent of Mr. Kenzo Tange, the total designer of the building. My father made no request at all and left everything to Isamu. He did an excellent job with pleasure. (The rest is omitted.)”

Excerpted from an article written by Hiroshi Teshigahara on Sankei Newspaper dated January 26, 1989

Isamu Noguchi and the Sogetsu Plaza

Requested by Sofu Teshigahara in 1977, Isamu Noguchi designed an open space for flowers, of stones, and water titled “Heaven” in Sogetsu Headquarters Building (in Tokyo) which was completed in 1978. “The Duo Exhibition Isamu Noguchi and Hiroshi Teshigahara” was held there in 1980. In 1984, celebrating Isamu Noguchi’s 80th birthday, his “Akari” (lighting works) were exhibited there.
It has been used for exhibitions of ikebana and various creative works of artists.






Isamu Noguchi’s granite sculpture at the entrance of Sogetsu Headquarters Building, 1977
Web Link:Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan

Isamu Noguchi’s granite sculpture at the entrance of Sogetsu Headquarters Building, 1977

<p>One of  the masterpieces of the world-renowned artist Isamu Noguchi, an indoor stone  garden titled “Heaven,” welcomes visitors at the entrance to the Sogetsu  Headquarters Building. The Sogetsu Plaza is known as an art spot which can be  used for exhibitions and events. For more information, please contact</p>
<h3><img src="/e/know/files/tit_know_hall_plaza_02.gif" alt="“Heaven” designed by Isamu Noguchi" width="620" height="23" /></h3>
<p><img src="/know/files/pic_know_hall_plaza_01.jpg" alt="“Heaven” designed by Isamu Noguchi" width="605" height="304" /><br />
Photos by Takeshi Fujimori</p>
<h3><img src="/e/know/files/tit_know_hall_plaza_03.gif" alt="Sogetsu and Isamu Noguchi" width="620" height="30" /></h3>
<p>“Both my father Sofu and I knew Isamu well.  I heard from my father that Isamu once said, “If you set a pine, it should not  look like a pine. It is very difficult not to make it look like a pine, though.  Am I right, Sofu?” My father took the words very seriously because, I think, they  reflected Isamu’s original view of ikebana that the particularities of pine as  a material are supposed to have been digested and assimilated into the completed  ikebana work. I like these words very much, too. </p>
<p>Isamu viewed things from a broad and  comprehensive perspective. He was a pioneer among environmental artists. When  Isamu received the Kyoto Prize, I rushed to the symposium held there and congratulated  him by calling him “Rikyu of the modern age.” Sen-no-Rikyu was a man of total  artistic creation. He made all the artistic arrangements of a space to bring his  guests into and offered the best possible hospitality. I heard that Isamu had a  particular interest in Rikyu. The ultimate goal of interaction between people  and arts, I believe, is to realize high levels of artistic endeavour for entertaining  people. This is the way in which I see the connection between Rikyu and Isamu  who created urban yet soothing spaces in this 20th century. </p>
<p>What I feel from Isamu’s recent stone  sculptures is that he minimizes his own work on the stones while making the  best use of their original beauty. When Isamu showed me around his studio in  Takamatsu, he said to me, “Hiroshi, these works are my intrusions forgiven by  nature (or stones).” The artist admits he is damaging the stones and yet he is  forgiven by the stones…. Here I can see a total unity between the artist and  the nature. The words are stunning to me as they express his view of the arts modestly  but clearly. Isamu reached to such heights in his later years. Including the  previous comments on pine, his words, coming out of his mouth after thinking  hard and leaving out trivial matters due to his limited fluency in Japanese, can  astonishingly move people’s hearts.</p>
<p>Isamu left us a marvelous monument in  Sogetsu Headquarters Building, that is, the Sogetsu Plaza of “flowers, stones,  and water” in an open space through two floors. It was my father who proposed  to ask Isamu to design there when some 70% of construction of the building was  already completed. This came true thanks to the consent of Mr. Kenzo Tange, the  total designer of the building. My father made no request at all and left  everything to Isamu. He did an excellent job with pleasure. (The rest is  omitted.)”</p>
<p>Excerpted from an article written  by Hiroshi Teshigahara on Sankei Newspaper dated January 26, 1989
</p>
<h4><img src="/e/know/files/tit_know_hall_plaza_04.gif" alt="Isamu Noguchi and the Sogetsu Plaza" width="605" height="16" /></h4>
<p>Requested by Sofu Teshigahara in 1977,  Isamu Noguchi designed an open space for flowers, of stones, and water titled “Heaven”  in Sogetsu Headquarters Building (in Tokyo) which was completed in 1978. “The  Duo Exhibition Isamu Noguchi and Hiroshi Teshigahara” was held there in 1980.  In 1984, celebrating Isamu Noguchi’s 80th birthday, his “Akari” (lighting  works) were exhibited there.<br />
It has been used for exhibitions of ikebana  and various creative works of artists.</p>
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<p><span class="caption"><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /></span>Isamu Noguchi’s granite sculpture at the entrance of Sogetsu Headquarters Building, 1977<br />Web Link:<a href="http://www.isamunoguchi.or.jp/" target="_blank">Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan</a></p>
</div>
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<p><img src="/know/files/pic_know_hall_plaza_02.jpg" alt="Isamu Noguchi’s granite sculpture at the entrance of Sogetsu Headquarters Building, 1977" width="140" height="205" /></p>
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