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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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Urbanism and Twentleth-Centry Japan

Urbanism and Twentleth-Centry Japan

(p.240) Epilogue Urbanism and Twentleth-Centry Japan
Beyond the Metropolis

Louise Young

University of California Press

Urban expansion of the interwar period left its mark on the rest of the twentieth century. Although urban modernism proved adaptable to appropriation for total war, the last months of the war proved catastrophic for Japanese cities. Yet in the aftermath of war and defeat, Japanese cities emerged stronger than ever. In spite of the scope of physical destruction, the mental structures, the human capital, and the organizational vehicles of urban form were left intact. While standard narratives portray postwar Japan as an “urban monolith,” where everything converges on a single, over-determined pattern of modern life, as the stories of the second cities show, heterogeneous urban forms emerged from the particular choices made by local communities in pursuit of urban development.

Keywords:   urban monolith, air campaigns, Tōkaidopolis, Niigata, Sapporo, Kanazawa, Okayama

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