Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology (英語) ハードカバー – 1995/6/1
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The internationally known Japanese architectural historian Jinnai Hidenobu set out on foot to rediscover the city of Tokyo. Armed with old maps, he wandered through back alleys and lanes, trying to experience the city's space as it had been lived by earlier residents. He found that, despite an almost completely new cityscape, present-day inhabitants divide Tokyo's space in much the same way that their ancestors did two hundred years before.
Jinnai's holistic perspective is enhanced by his detailing of how natural, topographical features were incorporated into the layout of the city. A variety of visual documents (maps from the Tokugawa and Meiji periods, building floorplans, woodblock prints, photographs) supplement his observations. While an important work for architects and historians, this unusual book will also attract armchair travelers and anyone interested in the symbolic uses of space.
(A translation of Tokyo no kûkan jinruigaku.)
"It was a particular pleasure to discover "Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology, for Jinnai's book is precisely a guide to Tokyo-literacy. By this, I do not mean that it is a conventional guidebook. . . . Rather, it is a book about the historical and social logic of Tokyo: a compelling exploration of the reasons why the city acquired is present shape. . . . "Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology is very obviously a labor of love; its style overflows with enthusiasm at the wonders to the city. . . . An original, readable, and fascinating book."--Tessa Morris-Suzuki, "Journal of Asian Studies商品の説明をすべて表示する
The feeling of the old city comes alive in these pages and yet at the same time this is a book that is missing something and a book where considerable addition can be made through subtraction.
One of the books great revelations of this book is that Edo, and particularly the city of the low city, was a city of water and canals, a Venice of the East. As this reviewer lives in the low city surrounded by these same canals and frequently visits Venice, I have long had the same thought. The author's expostion on this line of inquiry is brilliant and yet, sadly, the author fails to make this one of the centerpieces of this book.
Instead, there are numerous (and frequently condescending) references to other European cities that have no physical comparison to Tokyo in any way. The reason becomes clear as one continues through the book - Hidenobu somehow resents the artificial European influence on the Edo urban design that is modern Tokyo. Since the book was origially written in 1985, such expressions of cultural superiority are unsurprising. Does he feel the same way today?
The book is further diminished by the belief that every new, large scale building crushes the spirit of Edo. In this the author lacks perspective for as the citizens of Edo altered the original landscape for their needs, so do the modern citizens of Tokyo for theirs. This lack of historical perspective diminishes the accomplishments of those in both the Meiji era as well as in the post-war era. In both eras, the city responded to the needs of the time and made changes that needed to be made.
Because of this romanticism, the book is no guide to the future. It is however, a marvelous guide to the past and I look forward to using the book on future walks in the city. In the end, the book's flaws do not overshadow its clear vision of the old city.