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By Louise Young

In past the city, Louise younger seems on the emergence of urbanism within the interwar interval, a world second whilst the fabric and ideological constructions that represent "the city" took their attribute sleek form. In Japan, as in different places, towns turned the staging flooring for extensive ranging social, cultural, financial, and political differences. the increase of social difficulties, the formation of a shopper industry, the proliferation of streetcars and streetcar suburbs, and the cascade of investments in city improvement reinvented the town as either socio-spatial shape and set of rules. younger tells this tale throughout the optic of the provincial urban, studying 4 second-tier towns: Sapporo, Kanazawa, Niigata, and Okayama. As prefectural capitals, those towns constituted facilities in their respective areas. All 4 grew at a massive price within the interwar a long time, a lot because the metropolitan giants did. inspite of their commonalities, neighborhood stipulations intended that guidelines of nationwide improvement and the vagaries of the company cycle affected person towns in diversified methods. As their adjustments display, there's no unmarried grasp narrative of 20th century modernization. by means of attractive city tradition past the city, this learn exhibits that jap modernity used to be no longer made in Tokyo and exported to the provinces, yet relatively co-constituted throughout the stream and trade of individuals and ideas in the course of the state and past.

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Extra resources for Beyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan

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Unable to get 30 • CONTEXTS results through established political channels, the crowd took matters into its own hands, entering into direct negotiations with local businessmen to seek relief from starvation. In this way the crowd created its own form of political action and its own rules of political ethics. This signaled the growing power of the disenfranchised to express their will through extraparliamentary means and rendered the town hall momentarily irrelevant. Finally, the photographs of battered houses and smashed up warehouses telegraphed to urban elites the message that they ignored the demands of the lower classes at their own peril.

Okayama was a textile producer, and the beer that took the Sapporo trademark became the symbol of the city’s ties to agriculture and the importance of its food processing industries. The nature of economic activity changed as well during the teens, stamping the urban economy with the imprimatur of modern factory production. One measure of this was the sharp growth in numbers of urban factories. In Okayama 11 new factories employing more than ten workers were established between 1912 and 1920; Sapporo had 52 factories in 1912 and 121 in 1920.

What with bicycles, jinrickshas, horse- and ox-drawn carts, and streetcars all sharing the roads with automobiles, “traffic” was beginning to register among the growing host of urban social problems. Although Kanazawa had leveled large sections of the downtown to create the new arterial road system that led through the city center, traffic surveys conducted barely a few years after road construction was completed revealed a new crisis at hand. A survey in April 1921 measuring the amount of traffic that traversed a level crossing near Kanazawa station showed that in a single day, on average, 5,976 pedestrians, 234 bicycles, 703 wagons, 49 carriages, and 5 automobiles made the crossing.

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