Neighborhood and Nation in Tokyo, 1905-1937
In this pre-World War II analysis of working-class areas of Tokyo, primarily its Honjo ward, Hastings shows that bureaucrats, particularly in the Home Ministry, were concerned with the needs of their citizens and took significant steps to protect the city's working families and the poor. She also demonstrates that the…
Why read it?
1 author picked Neighborhood and Nation in Tokyo, 1905-1937 as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Cities often look quite different from the bottom up than from the top down. The practical demands of making cities work often rest on the shoulders of the most local of officials. Consequently, neighborhood officialdom often engages with citizens and residents more openly, even in authoritarian systems. Such engagement may hold the seeds of future democratic change. Hastings’ study of Honjo Ward and other proletarian Tokyo districts before World War II reveals a surprisingly robust participatory political and cultural environment across the early twentieth century.
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