Beyond the Metropolis
Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication
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Among the great pleasures of doing research in Japan are the friends one accumulates along the way. Th is study took me to four cities and introduced me to wonderful communities of local historians and archivists in each. By remarkable good fortune, I embarked on my research around the centennial of the incorporation of most of Japan’s second cities in the 1889 administra-...
Part One: Contexts
Introduction: Urbanism and Japanese Modern
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In Japan, the interwar period (1918–37) constituted a time of intensive refl ec-tion on what it meant to be “modern.” At a moment of rapid urbanization, as expanding city populations remade the social and physical landscapes of their communities, the Japanese began to link modernity with the urban experi-ence. Popular referents for the neologism modan—jazz music, bobbed hair, ...
1 World War One and the City Idea
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In the new wave of investments triggered by World War One, the focus of Japan’s economic expectations shift ed from the nation to the city, where the capitalist revolution’s deepening impact was most dramatically felt. Sudden and rapid urban growth stretched the capabilities of city services and strained the seams of the built environment. Th e war boom propelled new groups to ...
Part Two: Geo-Power and Urban-Centrism
2 The Ideology of the Metropolis
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One of the most striking eff ects of Japan’s modernization project of the late nineteenth century was the rising prominence and increasing centrality of Tokyo within the new national space. By the 1920s, Meiji government poli-cies of national developmentalism pursued since the 1870s had built Tokyo up and transformed it into the control room for nationwide political parties, ...
3 Colonizing the Country
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As Raymond Williams famously observed, the city-country binary consti-tutes one of the most prominent tropes of modernity. Th e opposition between the two, as well as their mutual dependency, emerged as a funda-mental condition of industrial capitalism. Moreover, this new relationship between city and country was the product of both material and ideological ...
Part Three: Modern Times and the City Idea
4 The Past in the Present
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Th e urban juggernaut of the early twentieth century created new challenges for cities as they tried to deal with the dramatic changes in everyday life. Former castle towns, battered by Meiji reforms that had undercut the towns’ source of feudal privilege, recovered and began to grow at a swift pace.1 Th e population churn generated by an increasingly mobile labor force ...
5 The Cult of the New
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Th e social and cultural movements of the interwar years expressed a fascination with “the new”—the new products, new fads, new pastimes, new lifestyles, and new types of men and women that erupted onto the urban landscape, only to be replaced with the new “new.” Th e regional turn refl ected in the local-history movement also expressed itself through an upsurge of interest in what the face ...
Epilogue: Urbanism and Twentieth-Century Japan
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In visible and invisible ways, the urban expansion of the interwar period left its mark on the twentieth century. As urban projects created a network of urban-centered institutions that sustained the modern city, urbanism entwined itself with modern life and became the face of the future. Th e underlying foundations of the urban form and the city idea laid down in ...
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Other Works in the Series
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Th e Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia (Complete list at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/weai/weatherhead-studies.html)Asia for the Asians: China in the Lives of Five Meiji Japanese, by Russo-Japanese Relations, 1905–17: From Enemies to Allies, by Behind the Gate: Inventing Students in Beijing, by Fabio Lanza. ...
Page Count: 326
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute