The Meiji emperor and the Ottoman sultan established diplomatic ties in the late nineteenth century, marking the beginning of Japan's first significant engagement with Islam. Following the establishment of the Turkish Republic negotiations continued until 1934 when the two nations signed a bilateral pact concerning commerce and navigation. Diplomatic connections remained stable until Turkey declared war on both Japan and Germany in 1945. In 1952, Turkey reopened its embassy in Japan. A year later, the Japanese embassy in Ankara reopened as well. Since then, numerous bilateral treaties and agreements have been signed.
It is in this spirit of cooperation that in 2010 the Tōkyō-jāmii (東京ジャーミイ) officially opened in the Ōyama-chō district of Shibuya. It is the largest mosque in Japan in a style inspired by Ottoman Architecture. For various reasons that we hope to clarify in this short presentation, Ottoman architecture, or more accurately, Turkish Islamic architecture is prominent in 12st-century Japanese popular culture. This phenomenon has occurred primarily in the construction of themed parks and the production of romantic comic books/manga set in fictional Middle Eastern countries. We will try to highlight the factors that led to this social phenomenon and its consequent stylistic choices by analysing various factors related to the tourism industry and the diplomatic ties between those two countries.
Anahtar Kelimeler: Ottoman Architecture, Japan, Popular Culture