Takayoshi Yoda (1902-1991)
Architect and painter, Takayoshi Yoda was born in Tokyo, Japan on October 5, 1902. He studied architecture at Tokyo Imperial University (today, the University of Tokyo) before travelling to the United States to continue his education at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. There, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1929 and a Master’s degree in 1930. Also in 1930, he represented Cornell as part of a three-person team at the annual competition of The Alumni of the American Academy in Rome. Together, Yoda and his fellow students designed a memorial room in honor of President Woodrow Wilson. Ultimately, Yoda’s team tied for first with the team from Yale.
While Yoda felt at home at Cornell University, he soon returned to Japan to begin his career as a professional architect. In 1935 he joined the firm Yokogawa-Komusho, Architects, where he remained until 1937. During this time, he also worked as a college lecturer.
During World War II, Yoda served as a Civilian Liaison Assistant for the Arts and Monuments Division of the Civil Information and Education Section under the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP). Based in Tokyo, Japan, the Arts and Monuments Division was staffed by the MFAA but existed on a much smaller scale than its European counterpart. Under the direction of Officer in Charge Monuments Man Lt. Cdr. George Stout, the office included Monuments Men Capt. Walter Popham, Lt. Richard S. Davis, Lt. Sherman Lee, and Maj. Laurence Sickman, among others. The Monuments Men Foundation is very interested in learning more about Yoda’s service with the MFAA. If you have any information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the end of war in Japan, Yoda returned to his career as an architect. In 1953, he formed Yokogawa, Yoda, and Associates, Inc., with two fellow Cornell alumni. The Tokyo-based firm designed projects mainly for the U .S. government in Japan. Yoda was a member of the Institute of Japanese Architects and a guest member of the Japanese Architects Association. An active alumnus of Cornell University, he was member of the Gargoyle Club (the honorary architectural club of Cornell), the Cosmopolitan Club, and the Cornell Club of Tokyo.
Takayoshi Yoda died in Fujisawa-shi, Japan on October 27, 1991.
Photo courtesy of Cornell University.