Evolutional Steps toward the Post-Western/Non-Western Movement in Japan

Hidenobu Jinnai

Graduate School of Engineering and Design, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan

Email: jinnai@h-jinnai.jp

ABSTRACT  This paper examines Japanese past from the beginning of the Meiji era until today in a historical perspective in order to make easier to understand from a post-Western/non-Western approach the processes that took place in this period of time. Initially, Japan began to adopt Western ideologies, technologies and systems to build a modern nation and to make the development of modern architecture and city planning possible. These models continued to be looked at for a long time. From the 1970s, when the years of sustained economic growth came to an end, Japanese began to dismiss the idea of reaching and overtaking the West gradually. They began to search for a Japanese identity. The richness of nature, the particular Japanese history and its specific culture developed through delicate senses were re-evaluated. At the same time, the cultural values of the historic urban space and townscape were rediscovered. Finally, the paper examines the idea and method of Machizukuri (bottom-up town-making) originated and developed thanks to the physical and social resources historically accumulated in the Japanese cities.

KEYWORDS  Westernisation, urban history, townscape, bottom-up, Machizukuri, cultural identity, spatial anthropology, satoyama

Received July 24, 2017; accepted August 21, 2017

Caption of Figure 1 and Figure 14 updated on September 26, 2017.