When you look at Japanese traditional architecture, you have to look at Japanese culture and its relationship with nature. You can actually live in a harmonious, close contact with nature - this very unique to Japan.
In the West there has always been the attempt to try make the religious building, whether it's a Medieval or Renaissance church, an eternal object for the celebration of God. The material chosen, such as stone, brick, or concrete, is meant to eternally preserve what is inside.
I believe that architecture is fundamentally a public space where people can gather and communicate, think about the history, think about the lives of human beings, or the world.
Since I am a Japanese man who's been building through the experience of Japanese architecture, my actual designs come from Japanese architectural concepts, although they're based on Western methods and materials.
All those involved in the construction of an architectural design, from the architect to the builder, have an attachment to the architecture, although it's difficult to quantify the attachment.
Without this spirit, Modernist architecture cannot fully exist. Since there is often a mismatch between the logic and the spirit of Modernism, I use architecture to reconcile the two.
When I design buildings, I think of the overall composition, much as the parts of a body would fit together. On top of that, I think about how people will approach the building and experience that space.
You cannot simply put something new into a place. You have to absorb what you see around you, what exists on the land, and then use that knowledge along with contemporary thinking to interpret what you see.
If I can create some space that people haven't experienced before and if it stays with them or gives them a dream for the future, that's the kind of structure I seek to create.
But in Japan, there's nothing like that, since the temple is made of wood. The divine spirit inside the building is eternal, so the enclosure doesn't have to be.
The level of detail and craft is something that's inscribed within the original design concept. And so when I begin to draw, I know what kind of detailing I want the building to have.
I hope that America as a whole, and especially its architects, will become more seriously involved in producing a new architectural culture that would bring the nation to the apex - where it has stood before - and lead the world.
Italy is full of historical buildings. And Europe holds a great history of philosophy from Greece until today. I read all those books and see these buildings, and I think of where I stand when I design my architecture.
Japanese traditional architecture is created based on these conditions. This is the reason you have a very high degree of connection between the outside and inside in architecture.
The computer offers another kind of creativity. You cannot ignore the creativity that computer technology can bring. But you need to be able to move between those two different worlds.
I don't look so closely at women's fashion, but from the 20th century on, people have had the freedom to express themselves and their individualities, and fashion is one of the most fundamental ways in which they do this, men and women are equally able to express themselves.
I hope America can also be the cultural leader of the world, and use this frontier spirit to lead and show others that we need courage to go places where we have not gone before.