“The Japanese are different from you and me”

In his beautifully illustrated essay, “History Has No Place”, published in the September 23, 2015 issue of T Magazine (The New York Times’ occasional style supplement), Pico Iyer mourns the forthcoming destruction of several major monuments of Japanese Modernist architecture while acknowledging that because Japan has a culture based on impermanence, the Japanese are less attached to things than to values and do not feel the need to preserve them. (He says, “the Japanese are different from you and me”.) Since this is the case, do American and European conservators have the right to promote their value system worldwide through international conservation organizations?