Japan is the world's second most powerful economy and one of the most urbanized nations on earth. Yet English-language literature contains remarkable little about cities in Japan. This collection of original essays on Japanese urban and industrial development covers a broad spectrum of city experiences. Leading Japanese and Western urbanists analyze Japan's largest metropolitan areas (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya); proto-typical industrial cities (Kamaishi, Kitakyushu, Toyota); high technology urban satellites (Kanagawa); and smaller, more traditionally organized industrial districts (Tsubame). This book demonstrates how Japan's flexible economic growth strategies and changing relationship to the world economy have produced a uniquely Japanese pattern of urban development in this century.
Throughout the essays that describe individual cities, contributors provide commentary on each city's twentieth-century history and functional relations with other cities and focus on the dynamic linkage between global relations and local activities. They examine the role of government—central, prefectural, and local—in the restructuring of Japanese industrial and urban life. One essay is devoted to the urbanization process in pre-World War II Japan; another considers urban planning on the western Pacific Rim. This is the first book that analyzes how the economic transformation of Japan has restructured Japanese cities and how urban and regional development policies have kept pace with (and in some ways effected) changes in the economy.
This comprehensive study of Japanese cities provides interdisciplinary coverage of urban development issues of interest to the fields of economics, business, sociology, political science, history, Asian and Japanese studies, and urban planning.