This book presents a detailed history of Katsura, the seventeenth-century Imperial Palace in Kyoto, a pivotal work of Japanese architecture often described as the 'quintessence of Japanese taste'. First revealed to the modern architectural world by the German architect Bruno Taut in the early twentieth-century, Katsura stunned and then excited the architectural community of the West. Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, pillars of the Modernist establishment, were fascinated by Katsura's `modernity'. They saw in it orthogonal and modular spaces, devoid of decoration, clear parallels to contemporary Modernism, going so far as to proclaim Katsura a 'historical' example of modernity. This book documents the palace in detail, combining newly commissioned photographs, detailed drawings, archival material, and historical analysis.