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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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Parklands and Japan

(p.1) Introduction

Thomas R. H. Havens

University of Hawai'i Press

This book examines the history of public parks and green spaces in Japan and its colonies. It considers the ways in which public parks—both national and urban—have figured in state formation, modern culture and national distinctiveness, military mobilization and disaster prevention, and public assembly during Japan's experience of spatial and ecological modernity since 1868. It explores how urban and mountain spaces were transformed into public parklands reminiscent of state practices in Europe and America, and how such models continued to influence park development in Japan from the 1870s to the twenty-first century, but without necessarily embracing Western teleological rationales. It also explains how urban and national parks have been envisioned to advance the central government's project of social unification. By analyzing urban and national parks together, the book shows how Japan's experience of spatial modernity challenges current thinking about protection and use of the nonhuman environment worldwide.

Keywords:   public parks, green space, Japan, public assembly, public parklands, national parks, social unification, urban parks, spatial modernity, nonhuman environment

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