On December 19, 2014, the Shiga Prefectural Office Main Building was registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan.It is the fifth time that a building still being actively used by a prefectural government has been registered in Japan.
National Registered Tangible Cultural Properties must correspond to any of the following: they must be built more than 50 years ago, contribute to the country's historical landscape, show exemplary design, or be difficult to reproduce. The Shiga Prefectural Office Main Building was assessed as a building that shows exemplary design.
After the old main building (built 1888) was demolished, construction began on the current Prefectural Office Main Building in September 1937 and was completed in May 1939. Mr. Koichi Sato, a talented planner of government buildings and the Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Public Hall, and Mr. Kunieda Hiroshi, a skilled building decorator and designer, worked together on this building. The Obayashi Corporation undertook construction.The four-story main building is constructed from steel reinforced concrete. The building's flat roof is adorned with a tower and is square-shaped with a courtyard in the middle. Only the front side extends symmetrically to the left and right, creating a solid and dignified appearance.The interior decor of the central terra cotta staircase, the governor's room, and the assembly hall employ high-density design and are considered masterpieces of government building construction.During the building's planning, the supply of iron was restricted due to the worsening Japan-China War. Despite this, iron materials were somehow acquired, and this large building was finally completed in the last years before World War II.The commemorative plaque that establishes the site as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property of Japan is mounted on a pillar by the front entrance. The "Main Building Past & Present Photo Hall" introduces photographs of the Prefectural Office Main Building at the time of its construction.