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ParkscapesGreen Spaces in Modern Japan$
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Thomas R. H. Havens

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834777

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834777.001.0001

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From Private Lands to Public Spaces

From Private Lands to Public Spaces

Early City Parks

(p.19) Chapter 1 From Private Lands to Public Spaces

Thomas R. H. Havens

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter traces the history of public parks in Japanese cities from the initial enabling act in 1873 through early forms of urban planning, ending with the City Planning Law of 1919. It begins with an overview of forerunners of the modern urban in the Edo era, notably daimyo gardens, and goes on to discuss the conversion of open spaces into city parks via Directive No. 16 issued by the Grand Council of State on January 15, 1873. It then considers the evolution of the Ueno Park, along with the proposed plan for a modest 330 hectares of parklands in forty-nine locations in Tokyo. It also examines how partisans broke the monopoly of discourse on public space by the Grand Council and Home Ministry and paved the way for broader civic participation in deciding how urban parklands should be utilized. In particular, the chapter looks at the conflicting meanings that were ascribed to Hibiya Park once it opened in 1903. The chapter concludes with an assessment of incremental growth of parklands in Japan in the early twentieth century.

Keywords:   public parks, Japan, urban planning, City Planning Law 1919, open space, Ueno Park, urban parklands, public space, Hibiya Park, city parks

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