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Beyond the MetropolisSecond Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan$
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Louise Young

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520275201

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520275201.001.0001

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Colonizing the Country

Colonizing the Country

(p.83) Three Colonizing the Country
Beyond the Metropolis

Louise Young

University of California Press

Urban population growth of the interwar triggered an expansion of the built environment of the city. Proliferation of regional rail transformed the economic geographies of urban space and the relationship between cities and their surrounding towns and villages. Depicted as the triumphant march of progress, accounts of urban expansionism echo narratives of Japanese colonialism: the juggernaut of urban modernity expanding inexorably outward, social Darwinism, and the inevitable decline of the countryside. In fact, the surrounding countryside did not disappear but was radically transformed into the hinterland of a regional urban center, a process that led to the rise of the suburb as a constitutive element in the socio-spatial form of the modern city.

Keywords:   suburb, town and country, railroad-led development, regional transportation, economic geography, town planning, urban-centrism

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