Japan

Organized Panel Session

2 - 'The City' as a Figured World: The Walking Tour of Chōjamachi District in Yokohama City, Japan

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Thurgood Marshall East, Mezzanine

This paper studies one of the walking tours organized by the volunteers of the nonprofit art organization Koganechō Area Management Center from Yokohama city, Japan. Koganechō was once a hub for illegal prostitution and sex trafficking until the City of Yokohama and the Kanagawa Prefectural Police drove away the criminal organizations and their businesses over a decade ago. Koganechō Area Management Center has since been installed to transform the district of Koganechō from a red-light district to a city of art, but illegal activities are still present in the neighbouring district Chōjamachi. This paper analyses the narratives of the tour guide, an artist who lives and works in Chōjamachi, and the small business owners of Chōjamachi to argue that their narratives help transform the district by engaging the tourists as participants in a figured world (Holland, Lachicotte Jr., Skinner and Cain 1998) while staging the speakers as figures of the city.

Yuka Hasegawa

University of Hawaii, Japan

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2 - 'The City' as a Figured World: The Walking Tour of Chōjamachi District in Yokohama City, Japan



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