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Rebuilding Urban Japan After 1945
 
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Rebuilding Urban Japan After 1945
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
12 Aug 2003
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£84.00
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9780333659625
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Over 200 Japanese cities were bombed during the Second World War. As most buildings were of wood, both incendiary and atomic bombs produced vast destruction, turning those cities into even more of a blank slate than bombed European cities. As in Europe, Japanese recon-struction was surprisingly rapid, but it took on distinctly Japanese forms. Town planning was, with few exceptions, highly centralized, and planners relied more on land-readjustment schemes and road planning than on dramatic land-use changes, though Japanese planners could look back to precedents for large-scale planning from the 1920s and the occupation of Manchuria. Usually, however, the character of the rebuilt cities was determined more by private builders than public projects. In most cities dense neighbourhoods reappeared, providing a sense of both vitality and chaos, though there were some notable exceptions, including the Peace Park and Boulevard in Hiroshima and the unique mixture of Japanese and American influences in Okinawa. Even the style of the most noted architects tended towards a mixture of traditionalism and modernism.
This book - the first of its kind in the English language - therefore examines the evolution of planning and architecture in Japan after 1945 and compares it with that of Europe.


Description

Over 200 Japanese cities were bombed during the Second World War. As most buildings were of wood, both incendiary and atomic bombs produced vast destruction, turning those cities into even more of a blank slate than bombed European cities. As in Europe, Japanese recon-struction was surprisingly rapid, but it took on distinctly Japanese forms. Town planning was, with few exceptions, highly centralized, and planners relied more on land-readjustment schemes and road planning than on dramatic land-use changes, though Japanese planners could look back to precedents for large-scale planning from the 1920s and the occupation of Manchuria. Usually, however, the character of the rebuilt cities was determined more by private builders than public projects. In most cities dense neighbourhoods reappeared, providing a sense of both vitality and chaos, though there were some notable exceptions, including the Peace Park and Boulevard in Hiroshima and the unique mixture of Japanese and American influences in Okinawa. Even the style of the most noted architects tended towards a mixture of traditionalism and modernism.
This book - the first of its kind in the English language - therefore examines the evolution of planning and architecture in Japan after 1945 and compares it with that of Europe.


Reviews

'This book is a must for researchers and practitioners of urban planning, planning history and the urban history of Japan.' - Shun'ichi Watanabe, Tokyo Science University

'Here is a study grand in its range and significant in its relevance...which we can all learn from.' - Robert Venturi, Pritzker Architecture Prize Winner, 1991

'Long opaque to students of Twentieth-century architecture and planning in the West, the history of the reconstruction of Japanese cities after World War II is detailed for the first time in this authoritative collection of essays edited by Carola Hein, Jeffry Diefendorf, and Ishida Yorifusa. Eleven case studies and thematic overviews by Japanese and international scholars elaborate the political, economic, social, and cultural contexts of rebuilding at a key moment in Japan's modern evolution. This volume fills a significant gap in scholarship and sheds light on both the complexities of regenerating damaged cities and the singularity of Japan's approach to urban issues.' - Joan Ockman, Columbia University
'I feel entirely comfortable stating that the editors and contributors to this volume have produced a very significant work that will be of great interest to scholars of Japan, particularly those interested in urban history, planning, and post-war policy making...Hein, Diefendorf and Ishida have compiled an excellent edited volume on a topic that is woefully understudied and underrepresented in English language scholarship. Moreover, each essay in this work is thoughtful, well researched, clearly presented, and thoroughly engaging, which is no small accomplishment for an 11 chapter volume.' - J.Charles Schencking, University of Melbourne, Japanese Studies

'This book is the first substantial attempt in the English language to examine how the Japanese tackled urban reconstruction in the years that followed, focusing especially on the first decade or so of peace. Much ground is covered...The editors provide stimulating observations by way of introduction and conclusion, and also a very useful glossary...this is unequivocally an important collection, which will interest a wide audience, and no doubt provoke further fruitful scholarship in the years to come.' - Nick Tiratsoo, London School of Economics, Urban History


Contents

Rebuilding Japanese Cities after 1945; C.Hein
Japanese Cities and Planning in the Reconstruction Period, 1945-55; Y.Ishida
Reconstructing Tokyo: the Attempt to transform a Metropolis; I.Hiroo
The Rebuilding of Osaka and Central Themes of the Japanese Reconstruction; H.Junichi
Reconstructing Hiroshima and Preserving the Reconstructed City; I.Norioki
The Reconstruction of Nagaoka and its Influence on Urban Forms; M.Shoji
War Damage Reconstruction, City Planning and U.S. Civil Administration in Okinawa; I.Takayuki
Learning from Dairen, Learning from Shinkyo: Japanese Colonial City Planning and Postwar Reconstruction; D.Tucker
Japanese Architectural Culture in the 1950s; C.Wendelken
War and Reconstruction in Japan; J.M.Diefendorf
Change and Continuities in Postwar Urban Japan; C.Hein


Authors

CAROLA HEIN is Assistant Professor at Bryn Mawr College (USA) in the growth and Structure of Cities Program. She has published and lectured widely on topics of contemporary and historical architectural and urban planning. From 1995 to 1999 she was a Visiting Researcher at Tokyo Metropolitan University and Kogakuin University, researching on the reconstruction of Japanese cities after World War II and the Western influence on Japanese urban planning.

JEFFREY M. DIEFENDORF is Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire. He has written extensively about postwar reconstruction in Germany and Europe, including In the Wake of War: The Reconstruction of German Cities after World War II and The Rebuilding of Europe's Bombed Cities. His fellowships have included awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

ISHIDA YORIFUSA is a Professor Emeritus at the Center for Urban Studies, Tokyo Metropolitan University, specializing in urban planning history and land use policy. He is author of numerous books, including Nihon Kindai Toshikeikaku-shi Kenkyu [Studies in Japanese modern Urban Planning History] published in Tokyo in 1987, as well as numerous other works in the field.