Japan

Organized Panel Session

(25) Making Place in Japanese Cities

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Thurgood Marshall East, Mezzanine

Today more and more of the world’s population is concentrated in urban areas, and this is particularly true throughout Asia. Cities are shaped as places by state and municipal institutions, migrants and longstanding residents, as well as transnational actors and international institutions. Indeed, cities are amalgamations of places, without one solid or consistent identity. Japan has an urbanization rate of more than 93 percent; and yet, as the national population is both aging and shrinking, cities are faced with significant demographic shifts. Japanese cities and citizens employ a variety of strategies to counteract these challenges at the municipal and local level. This panel will explore the various ways that cities are shaped, branded, experienced, and understood by the state, local institutions, and the people who reside or travel through them. Hasegawa examines tour guide narratives in Chōjamachi, Yokohama analyzing the way that local businesses tell their stories for tourists.  Oyama discusses Nagareyama, a city on the outskirts of Tokyo that has been successful at rebranding itself to attract young families.  Prough examines the way that one off-the-beaten-path neighborhood in Kyoto remade itself as a site for local experiential tourism. While Puzo analyses the ways that foreign researchers in Osaka make place while out of place.  All of these papers thus address, ways that local actors and visitors construct a sense of place within Japanese cities in dialogue with broader national narratives and social issues.  

Presentations:

Jennifer Prough

Valparaiso University, Indiana

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Yuka Hasegawa

University of Hawaii, Japan

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Yuka Hasegawa

University of Hawaii, Japan

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Atsuko Oyama

Stony Brook University, New York

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Ieva Puzo

Riga Stradins University, Not Applicable, Latvia

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Keith Brown

University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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