University of Tokyo - Department of Architecture

Fujita Laboratory

Technological accumulation and education to secure the safety and to inherit the cultural values of historical timber timber architecture.
Develop a healthy cycle of forest and architecture.

Members of Fujita Laboratory investigate the structures, especially seismic performance, of historic timber architecture.


We investigate existing literature on the natural disasters in the past and the history of repair of historic timber architecture, in order to reveal the damage by past natural hazards. We also investigate the chronological change in structural elements such as joints, structural walls and brackets in order to discuss the evaluation in the morphology of timber structural elements. We conduct onsite investigation to understand the structural performance of historic timber structures in Japan as well as other countries.

Structural Performance evaluation of the two Main Halls of Kencho-ji temple, Kamakura


We operate structural experiments on elements as well as the total structure. We have been monitoring earthquake and ambient vibration of many types of historic architecture including five storied pagodas, Buddhist temple halls and residential timber houses.

Shaking table test of Brackets


Earthquake monitoring at Tsukanon Five storied pagoda in Tsu, Mie

Analysis and Discussion

Structural performance evaluation based on the actual monitored data is conducted and the results compared with those by experiment. We have study meetings with timber engineers and academics to discuss and exchange information.


We develop, design and construct structural reinforcement devices for historic/existing timber architecture. We aim to develop structurally rational, aesthetically allowable, easy to construct and affordable devices.

Structural reinforcement device under experiment

Ongoing research projects
Engineering historic architecture, 2017-

Research meetings with academics, structural engineers and preservation specialists involved in the engineering/structural aspects of historic timber architecture. (Todai Funding)

Structural monitoring of historic timber architecture, 2003-

Structural monitoring ongoing at five storied pagodas of Zentsu-ji, Motoyama-ji, Tsukannon, main halls of Kencho-ji, Study of Gokokuji temple.

Structural reinforcement devices being developed, 2005-

Development of aperture reinforcement devices considering design (collaboration with Tokyo Metropolitan University, Kyushu University, Kanazawa Institute of Technology, and Maizuru National College of Technology).

Structural research on timber churches in collaboration with researchers in Norway, Ukraine and Polland, 2017-

Research on the structural performance of a historic timber church (Stave Church) in Norway in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Tsukuba University, and Osaka City University.
Research on the structural performance and durability of timber churches around the Carpathian Mountains (Ukraine, Poland, etc.) mainly conducted by Tsukuba University in collaboration with researchers in Ukraine and Poland.

For more detail: Fujita Laboratory
Principal Investigator:Kaori Fujita