"Fair Japan" Design and Layout
All construction work on the exhibit and buildings was of bamboo and other native materials, designed and constructed without nails, screws or bolts in the Japanese tradition. The theater was especially handsome, having been decorated by Kintaro Sato, brought from Japan by Manager Yumeto Kushibiki for the task; he painted the walls a delicate blue with tall chrysanthmums rising from the floor "to a considerable height," over which a flock of cranes flew in the distance. Plants and shrubs specially trained and pruned, some resembling animals and birds, were brought from Japan and planted in the gardens.
Overall, Fair Japan took in $111,751, making it the 12th highest in revenue of the Midway concessions. It was well-regarded for its clean, polite and restful atmosphere. No barkers were out front to entice visitors in, and many artisans seemed diffident to the point of reluctance when visitors asked to buy their handicrafts. As one writer said, "All is sweet and wholesome and enjoyable, without a sense that something is hidden which may offend if revealed. The note of "Fair Japan" is charm. It is all delight, as in the fabled fairy land, and leaves a feeling of pleasure without regret."
The inhabitants of Fair Japan left the Exposition immediately upon its closing, November 1, after showing off their finest costumes, some so handsome as to be usually reserved for holidays, in a well-publicized final week. All of the plants and shrubbery imported from Japan and installed at the exhibit were auctioned on November 14 at J.H. Rebstock's Greenhouse on Elmwood Avenue.
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