New Books on Urban Spaces of Japan(Info)

EASIANTH MLへのChristoph Brumann氏*1のメッセージ2つ。

Dear all,

This is to advertise "Urban Spaces in Japan: Cultural and Social Perspectives", edited by Evelyn Schulz and myself, which just appeared with Routledge. See for details and below for the table of contents.

Best, Christoph


List of illustrations
1 Introduction (Christoph Brumann, Christian Dimmer and Evelyn Schulz)
2 Urbanisation, city, and city system in Japan between development and shrinking: coping with shrinking cities in times of demographic change (Winfried Flüchter)
3 The colonial appropriation of public space: architecture and city planning in Japanese-dominated Manchuria (Anke Scherer)
4 Re-uniting a divided city: high-rises, conflict, and urban space in central Kyoto (Christoph Brumann)
5 Re-imagining public space: the vicissitudes of Japan’s privately owned public spaces (Christian Dimmer)
6 Citizen participation and urban development in Japan and Germany: issues and problems (Carolin Funck, Tsutomu Kawada and Yoshimichi Yui)
7 Indifferent communities: neighbourhood associations, class and community consciousness in pre-war Tokyo (Katja Schmidtpott)
8 Who cares about the past in today’s Tokyo? (Paul Waley)
9 Gendered modes of appropriating public space (Ingrid Getreuer-Kargl)
10 Walking the city: spatial and temporal configurations of the urban spectator in writings on Tokyo (Evelyn Schulz)
11 Shrinking cities and liveability in Japan: emerging relationships and challenges (André Sorensen)

Dear all,

With apologies for repeated self-promotion: also out with Routledge is my book "Tradition, Democracy and the Townscape of Kyoto: Claiming a Right to the Past", both as hardback and ebook. Just like for all books in the JAWS series, the paperback is bound to follow after one year. See for details and below for the blurb and table of contents.

Best, Christoph


As the historic capital of the country and the stronghold of the nation’s most celebrated traditions, the city of Kyoto holds a unique place in the Japanese imagination. Widely praised for the beauty of its townscape and natural environments, it is both a popular destination for tourists and home to one and a half million inhabitants. There has been a sustained, lively debate about how best to develop the city, with a large number of local government officials, citizen activists, urban planners, real-estate developers, architects, builders, proprietors, academic researchers, and ordinary Kyotoites involved in discussions, forming a highly peculiar social arena that has no match elsewhere in Japan.

This book, based on extensive fieldwork and interviews, provides an ethnographic study of this particular social field. It analyses how people in Kyoto deal with their most cherished traditions, such as the traditional town houses and the famous Gion matsuri festival, which calls into question several of the standard social scientific assumptions about the functions of cultural heritage for present-day societies. The book looks at the way concerned citizens, government bureaucrats, and other important players interact with each other over contentious modern buildings, often with the best intentions but constrained by set role expectations and by the superior power of national-level regulations and agencies. This book contributes to debates on the social uses of tradition and heritage, and the question of how to create sustainable, liveable urban environments.

Christoph Brumann is Head of Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle and Honorary Professor of Anthropology at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He is the co-editor of /Making Japanese Heritage /and /Urban Spaces in Japan/, both also published by Routledge.

Table of contents


*Part 1: Case Studies*
1. The Pont des Arts Controversy
2. A Place with a Past
3. The /manshon/ Conflicts
4. The Revival of the /kyô-machiya/
5. The Yamaboko junkô of the Gion matsuri**

*Part 2: Cross-Cutting Aspects*
6. Aesthetics
7. Tradition and Heritage
8. Civil Society and the Power of Institutions
9. Public and Private Space
10. Wider Skies over Kyoto

Conclusion: Healing a Wounded City