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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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Parks, the Public, and the Environment in Japan

Parks, the Public, and the Environment in Japan

(p.187) Afterword Parks, the Public, and the Environment in Japan

Thomas R. H. Havens

University of Hawai'i Press

This afterword summarizes the key themes of the book, highlighted by the continual effort to reinvent modern Japan through city parks and natural parks. These parks were key components of Japan's modern spatial culture that was first produced by decree from the Grand Council of State in 1873. Japanese leaders then subscribed to the idea that modernity meant enjoying the hygienic, civilizing uplift imparted by green spaces open to the general public, on terms dictated by high-modernist bureaucrats projecting statist norms. Urban elites touted the public health and recreational benefits of visiting both city and national parks, even as local leaders in the areas targeted for national parks seemed to be far more interested in the potential impact of tourism on their communities. From 1905 onward, capitalism in the form of tourism has been a driving engine of the national park movement, whereas urbanization has been used to justify city parks.

Keywords:   green space, Japan, city parks, natural parks, Grand Council of State, modernity, national parks, tourism, capitalism, urbanization

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