Architecture, Urban Planning, and Development in Modern Tokyo

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Urban Studies
Art
Terms offered: 
Spring
Credits: 
3
Language of instruction: 
English
Contact Hours: 
45
Prerequisites: 

None

Description: 

This course provides an introductory overview of Tokyo's architectural history and explores some of the recent questions that architects, urban planners, and scholars have raised to understand its phenomenon. To this end, the course covers the development of building technologies, urban planning, and architectural thinking from the Meiji period to the present, surveys a number of important architectural projects and contemporary topics, and conducts fieldworks that encourage students observe, probe, and produce a set of portfolio documenting their analyses.

Attendance policy: 

Attendance to all class meetings is required for all IES Area Studies courses. The three-hour format for classes makes missing a single class equivalent to missing a full week during a regular semester. Therefore, students are permitted a maximum of one unexcused absence. Additional unexcused absences will result in a penalty of one of letter grade from your final grade, for each additional absence—i.e. two missed classes turns an A into a B, three turns it into a C, and so on.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Look at a building and evaluate the significance of its design intents and urban context
  • Analyze actual buildings and articulate what those buildings say about Japanese societies and the urban fabric of Tokyo
  • Speak skillfully through required in-class presentations
  • Demonstrate the ability to use primary sources (i.e., the built environment) to construct an intelligent argument
     
Method of presentation: 

Lecture, discussion, student presentations, site visits

Required work and form of assessment: 
  1. Class Participation, Presentation, Weekly Response Papers (40% of Total)
  2. Two Field Reports (15% of Total)
  3. Midterm Paper (15% of Total)
  4. Final Research Paper (30% of Total)
content: 

Week 1: Introduction: What is Tokyo? Approaches to Understanding the City

What is a city? How do we define, identify, encounter, and represent it? And to what ends? This session will cover diverse approaches to understanding Tokyo and discuss how and why certain information is privileged over another. There is no right answer, but we can begin to appreciate the multiple ways of producing knowledge of an urban phenomenon.

Required readings:

None

Recommended:

“Locating Landscapes: Geographies of Leisure and Tourism” (pp. 7-28) in Aitchison, Cara, MacLeod, Nicola E., and Shaw, Stephen J. Leisure and Tourism Landscapes: Social and Cultural Geographies. London Routledge, 2001.

“Center-City, Empty Center,” in Barthes, Roland. Howard, Richard, trans. Empire of Signs. New York: Macmillan, 1983.

Hayden, Dolores. “Urban Landscape History: The Sense of Place and the Politics of Space,” in Bress, Todd W. and Groth, Paul, ed. Understanding Ordinary Landscapes. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.

Lynch, Kevin. Image of the City. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1960.

“Overview” (pp. 3-17) and “Elements of a Global Urban System” (pp. 171-196) in Sassen, Saskia. The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Week 2: Orientation to Tokyo: Urban Vernacular in Post-Bubble City

This session will attempt to understand contemporary Tokyo's “urban vernacular” that emerges out of the arbitrary intentions of the designer, the city's unforgiving site conditions and building codes, and the perverse habits of the building's users. To this end, we will examine Atorie Wan's analyses and survey their residential projects in Tokyo.

Required readings:

“Fitting In: Small Site in Urban Japan” (pp. 163-169) in Daniell, Thomas. After the Crash: Architecture in Post-Bubble Japan. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.

Tsukamoto, Yoshiharu. “What is Made in Tokyo?” Architectural Design Vol .73, No.5 (September/October 2003): pp. 38-47.

Recommended Reading:

Atorie Wan. Bow-Wow From Post-Bubble City. Tokyo: INAX Shuppan, 2006. -----. Pet Architecture Guide Book

Vol.2. Tokyo: World Photo Press, 2002. -----. Made in Tokyo. Tokyo: Kajima Institute Publishing,

2001.

Kyoichi, Tsuzuki. Tokyo Style. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 2003. Shelton, Barrie. Learning from the Japanese

City. London: Taylor & Francis, 1999.

Week 3: Revisiting Tokyo 1: Meiji Beginnings

(Fieldtrip: Identifying “Styles” at Ueno Park )

We will survey the museums at Ueno Park, a repository of architectural works that encompass some of the major turning points in Tokyo's modern history. The projects we will examine include Watanabe's (originally Conder's) Tokyo National Museum, Katayama's Hyokeikan, and Le Corbusier's National Museum of Western Art, his only existing work in East Asia.

Required readings:

“Tokyo and the ‘Problem’ of Styles,” in Stewart, David. The Making of Modern Japanese Architecture: 1868 to the Present. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1987, pp. 33-62.

Selections from:

Tseng, Alice. The Imperial Museums of Meiji Japan: Architecture and the Art of the Nation. Seattle: The University of Washington, 2008.

Recommended:

“Adoption of Western Building Technology: The Government Role,” in Frampton, Kenneth, Kudo, Kunio, and Vincent, Keith, Japanese Building Practice: From Ancient Times to the Meiji Period. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1997.

Lockyer, Angus, "National Museums and Other Cultures in Modern Japan" (pp. 97-123) in Daniel Sherman, ed., Museums and Difference. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.

Reynolds, Jonathan M. “A Modernist Crusader, 1930-1945,” (pp. 74-134) in Reynolds, Jonathan M. Maekawa Kunio and the Emergence of Japanese Modernist Architecture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Seidensticker, Edward. Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake. New York : Knopf, 1983.

Week 4: What is Japanese Architecture?

What is Japanese architecture? What does it mean for an architect to embrace or reject his/her Japanese identity today? In this session, we will go over the “traditional” elements of Japanese architecture and examine some of the recent narratives over “Japaneseness,” with a particular focus on Arata Isozaki.

Required readings:

Selections from Isozaki, Arata. Kohso, Sabu, trans. Japan-ness in Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006.

Reynolds, Jonathan. “Ise Shrine and a Modernist Constriction of a Japanese Tradition.” The Art Bulletin vol. 83, no.2 (June 2001), pp.316-341.

Recommended:

Arata, Isozaki, and Oshima, Ken Tadashi. Arata Isozaki. New York: Phaidon Press, 2009.

Coaldrake, William. The Way of the Carpenter: Tools and Japanese Architecture. New York and Tokyo:

Weatherhill, 1990.

Lee, Sang, and Baumeister, Ruth, eds. The Domestic and the Foreign in Architecture. Rotterdam: 010

Publishers, 2007.

Nishi, Kazuo, and Hozumi, Kazuo. Horton, H. Mack, trans. What is Japanese Architecture? Tokyo and New

York: Kodansha International, 1985.

Tanizaki, Junichiro. Harper, Thomas J., and Seidensticker, Edward G., trans. In Praise of Shadows. New

Haven: Leete’s Island Books, 1977.

Week 5: Revisiting Tokyo 2: Japanese Modernism and the Modern Life in Prewar Tokyo

In this session, we will go over major turning points in the development of prewar Japanese architecture, including modernism, Bunri-ha, and the imperial crown style. In addition, we will look at Ginza and Asakusa to understand the development of sakariba (roughly translated as “amusement quarters”) and the development of a new mass culture in prewar Tokyo.

Required readings:

Selections from “Tokyo and the Beginnings of Modernism” (pp. 90-106) and “Rationalism and Lifestyle” (p.107-163) in Stewart.

Recommended:

Nakahara, Mari, et al., eds. Crafting a Modern World: The Architecture and Design of Antonin and Noemi Raymond. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

Oshima, Ken Tadashi. International Architecture in Interwar Japan: Constructing Kokusai Kenchiku. Seattle:

University of Washington Press, 2010.

Reynolds, Jonathan M. Maekawa Kunio and the Emergence of Japanese Modernist Architecture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Week 6: Revisiting Tokyo 2, cont.: Japanese Domesticity

(Fieldtrip: Surveying Japanese Dwellings at Edo-Tokyo Open Air Museum)

We will examine a series of actual residential works of the prewar period such as that of Horiguchi and Maekawa side by side with preserved dwellings from earlier times in Japanese history. On-site exercise will direct the eyes to the specific material, form, tectonics, and design intentions that characterize each building.

Required readings:

Selections from Sand, Jordan. The House and Home in Modern Japan: Architecture, Domestic Space, and Bourgeois Culture, 1880-1930. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.

Week 7: Midterm Student Presentations

Week 8: Revisiting Tokyo 3: Tange, the Metabolist Movement, & Utopian Visions, 1950s­60s

This session will survey the works and arguments made by Tange and the Metabolist Group as a response to the structural changes Tokyo faced during the earlier postwar years. Discussion will focus on the World Design Conference (1960), the proposals made by Kikutake, Kurokawa, Otaka, and Maki, and the Osaka Expo (1970).

Required readings:

“Ins and Outs of Postwar Urban Rhetoric” (pp.164-185) and “Technology, Metaphor, and the Resurgence of Japanese Space” (pp.219-236) in Stewart.

Recommended:

Banham, Reyner. “The Japonization of World Architecture,” (pp.16-25) in Suzuki, et al., eds. Contemporary Architecture of Japan 1958-1984.

Kurokawa, Kisho. Metabolism in Architecture. Boulder: Westview Press, 1977.

Schmal Peter Cachola, Visscher, Jochen, and Flagge, Ingeborg, eds. Kisho Kurokawa: Metabolism And Symbiosis. Berlin: Jovis, 2005.

Ross, Michael Franklin. Beyond Metabolism: The New Japanese Architecture. New York: Architectural Record, 1978.

Wendelken, Cherie. “Putting Metabolism Back in Place: The Making of a Radically Decontextualized Architecture in Japan,” in Goldhagen, Sarah Williams, and Legault, Rejean, eds. Anxious Modernisms: Experimentation in Postwar Architectural Culture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002, pp.279-299.

Week 9: Contemporary Tokyo I: Urban Restructuring and Mega Projects

(Fieldtrip: Experiencing Mega Scale at Tokyo Bay Waterfront (Shinonome, Toyosu, Tsukishima))

The fieldtrip will place in context some of the major postwar urban restructuring, reclamation, and development schemes, built and unbuilt, in the postwar years: Tange’s 1960 Plan for Tokyo, Tokyo Teleport Town, Yokohama Minato Mirai 21 (MM21), and private sector projects as Roppongi Hills.

Required readings:

Lin, Zhong-Jie. “From Megastructure to Megalopolis: Formation and Transformation of Mega-Projects in Tokyo Bay.” Journal of Urban Design Vol. 12, Issue 1 (February 2007), pp.73-92.

Waley, Paul. “Tokyo-as-World-City: Reassessing the Role of Capital and the State in Urban Restructuring.” Urban Studies Vol. 44 Issue 8, (July 2007), pp.1465-1490.

Recommended:

"Nikken Sekkei and the Evolution of Modern Japanese Architecture," in Bognár, Botond. Nikken Sekkei: Building Future Japan 1900-2000. New York: Rizzoli, 2000.

Ross, Michael Franklin. Beyond Metabolism: The New Japanese Architecture. New York: Architectural Record, 1978. “Tange Kenzo’s Tokyo Monuments” (pp. 251-288) in Coaldrake, William, Architecture and Authority in Japan. London and New York: Routledge, 1996.

Week 10: Contemporary Tokyo II: Personapolis

How does today's consumption culture and the “cult” of individual taste in Tokyo manifest itself in the built form? This session will examine the phenomenon of Akihabara and the interplay between popular culture and architecture in modern Tokyo.

Required readings:

“Consumption and Urban Cultures in the Japanese City” (pp.26-50) in Clammer, John. Contemporary Urban Japan: A Sociology of Consumption. Oxford and Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

“Interview: Kaichiro Morikawa” http://www.jijigaho.or.jp/old/app/0602/eng/interview01.html (February 2006). Accessed May 25, 2009. “A Guide to the Personalpolis” (pp.1-17, in English) in Morikawa, Kaichiro. Shuto no Tanjo. Tokyo: Gentosha, 2003. http://www.otaku2.com/

Recommended:

Azuma, Hiroki. Abel, Jonathan E., and Kono, Shion, trans. Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009.

Chung, Chuihua Judy, Inaba, Jefferey, Koolhaas, Rem, and Leong, Sze Tsung. Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping. Cambridge: Harvard Design School, 2001.

Venturi, Robert, Scott Brown, Denise, and Izenour, Steven. Learning from Las Vegas. Cambridge: MIT Press,

1972.

Week 11: Future Tokyo: Aging and Urban Shrinking

Far from the modernist vision of growth and progress, cities today around the world are now “shrinking” due to political and demographic changes. This week's session will take up the case of Japan by looking at the two unique characteristics of its “shrinkage”: aging and post-suburb migration. We will then cover some of the major debates that have surfaced over the fate of the shrinking city, as well as the design solutions proposed by Japanese architects today.

Required readings:

http://www.fibercity2050.net/ http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/special/shrinking-regions/

Recommended readings:

Langner, Marcel, and Endlicher, Wilfried, eds. Shrinking Cities: Effects on Urban Ecology and Challenges for Urban Development. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2007. Oswalt, Philipp. Shrinking Cities. Hatje Cantz: D.A.P., 2004.

Week 12: Final Student Presentations

Congratulations! By now, you will have compiled a number of interesting analyses in your portfolio. For the final, you will pick your best discovery, expand on it, and present your first-hand analysis to class. The presentation should be 10 minutes long and must reference academic sources in the reading list (required and/or recommended), the books at the IES Tokyo library, the English section of your local library, etc. Wikipedia and other unreliable Internet sources are not allowed. A PowerPoint or slideshow presentation is preferred, but a video/audio/pin-up/installation is also acceptable. (For those of you without Microsoft Office, you can download a similar documentation software called Open Office for free at: www.openoffice.org).

Required readings: 

Please complete all weekly readings and come to class prepared for discussion. Note: It is impossible to complete your assignments and on-site exercises without having reflected on them in advance!

“Fitting In: Small Site in Urban Japan” (pp. 163-169) in Daniell, Thomas. After the Crash: Architecture in Post-Bubble Japan. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008.

Tsukamoto, Yoshiharu. “What is Made in Tokyo?” Architectural Design Vol .73, No.5 (September/October 2003): pp. 38-47.

“Tokyo and the ‘Problem’ of Styles,” in Stewart, David. The Making of Modern Japanese Architecture: 1868 to the Present. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1987, pp. 33-62.

Selections from Tseng, Alice. The Imperial Museums of Meiji Japan: Architecture and the Art of the Nation. Seattle: The University of Washington, 2008.

Selections from Isozaki, Arata. Kohso, Sabu, trans. Japan-ness in Architecture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006.

Reynolds, Jonathan. “Ise Shrine and a Modernist Constriction of a Japanese Tradition.” The Art Bulletin vol. 83, no.2 (June 2001), pp.316-341.

Selections from “Tokyo and the Beginnings of Modernism” (pp. 90-106) and “Rationalism and Lifestyle” (p.107-163) in Stewart.

Selections from Sand, Jordan. The House and Home in Modern Japan: Architecture, Domestic Space, and Bourgeois Culture, 1880-1930. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.

“Ins and Outs of Postwar Urban Rhetoric” (pp.164-185) and “Technology, Metaphor, and the Resurgence of Japanese Space” (pp.219-236) in Stewart.

Lin, Zhong-Jie. “From Megastructure to Megalopolis: Formation and Transformation of Mega-Projects in Tokyo Bay.” Journal of Urban Design Vol. 12, Issue 1 (February 2007), pp.73-92.

Waley, Paul. “Tokyo-as-World-City: Reassessing the Role of Capital and the State in Urban Restructuring.” Urban Studies Vol. 44 Issue 8, (July 2007), pp.1465-1490.

“Consumption and Urban Cultures in the Japanese City” (pp.26-50) in Clammer, John. Contemporary Urban Japan: A Sociology of Consumption. Oxford and Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

“Interview: Kaichiro Morikawa” http://www.jijigaho.or.jp/old/app/0602/eng/interview01.html (February 2006). Accessed May 25, 2009. “A Guide to the Personalpolis” (pp.1-17, in English) in Morikawa, Kaichiro. Shuto no Tanjo. Tokyo: Gentosha, 2003. http://www.otaku2.com/

http://www.fibercity2050.net/ http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/special/shrinking-regions/