Tokyo Vernacular: Common Spaces, Local Histories, Found Objects

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9780520280373: Tokyo Vernacular: Common Spaces, Local Histories, Found Objects
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Preserved buildings and historic districts, museums and reconstructions have become an important part of the landscape of cities around the world. Beginning in the 1970s, Tokyo participated in this trend. However, repeated destruction and rapid redevelopment left the city with little building stock of recognized historical value. Late twentieth-century Tokyo thus presents an illuminating case of the emergence of a new sense of history in the city’s physical environment, since it required both a shift in perceptions of value and a search for history in the margins and interstices of a rapidly modernizing cityscape. Scholarship to date has tended to view historicism in the postindustrial context as either a genuine response to loss, or as a cynical commodification of the past. The historical process of Tokyo’s historicization suggests other interpretations. Moving from the politics of the public square to the invention of neighborhood community, to oddities found and appropriated in the streets, to the consecration of everyday scenes and artifacts as heritage in museums, Tokyo Vernacular traces the rediscovery of the past sometimes in unlikely forms in a city with few traditional landmarks. Tokyo's rediscovered past was mobilized as part of a new politics of the everyday after the failure of mass politics in the 1960s. Rather than conceiving the city as national center and claiming public space as national citizens, the post-1960s generation came to value the local places and things that embodied the vernacular language of the city, and to seek what could be claimed as common property outside the spaces of corporate capitalism and the state.

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"With precision and elegance, Jordan Sand examines some of Tokyo's liminal spaces and objects, and in the process gives us not just a new urban history but a new political and intellectual history of Japan from the 1960's to today. He maps abstract debates over citizenship, property, and memory onto physical places: the public square, the street, and the museum. Tokyo Vernacular is a stunning achievement." Julia Adeney Thomas, Department of History at University of Notre Dame

"Tokyo Vernacular identifies an ordinary language of history and memory in late twentieth-century Tokyo. With great subtlety and sharp insights, Sand traces the turn to vernacular forms in the flux of the city’s everyday life, analyzing and historicizing it as part of a global concern with the ordinary in the era of consumer capitalism. The result is a set of brilliant and scholarly deep reflections on the roots of historical consciousness in urban and global history."
Gyan Prakash, author of Mumbai Fables

About the Author:

Jordan Sand teaches Japanese history at Georgetown University and has written widely on urbanism and material culture in East Asia.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Preserved buildings and historic districts, museums and reconstructions have become an important part of the landscape of cities around the world. Beginning in the 1970s, Tokyo participated in this trend. However, repeated destruction and rapid redevelopment left the city with little building stock of recognized historical value. Late twentieth-century Tokyo thus presents an illuminating case of the emergence of a new sense of history in the city s physical environment, since it required both a shift in perceptions of value and a search for history in the margins and interstices of a rapidly modernizing cityscape. Scholarship to date has tended to view historicism in the postindustrial context as either a genuine response to loss, or as a cynical commodification of the past. The historical process of Tokyo s historicization suggests other interpretations. Moving from the politics of the public square to the invention of neighborhood community, to oddities found and appropriated in the streets, to the consecration of everyday scenes and artifacts as heritage in museums, Tokyo Vernacular traces the rediscovery of the past - sometimes in unlikely forms - in a city with few traditional landmarks. Tokyo s rediscovered past was mobilized as part of a new politics of the everyday after the failure of mass politics in the 1960s. Rather than conceiving the city as national center and claiming public space as national citizens, the post-1960s generation came to value the local places and things that embodied the vernacular language of the city, and to seek what could be claimed as common property outside the spaces of corporate capitalism and the state. Seller Inventory # AAU9780520280373

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Preserved buildings and historic districts, museums and reconstructions have become an important part of the landscape of cities around the world. Beginning in the 1970s, Tokyo participated in this trend. However, repeated destruction and rapid redevelopment left the city with little building stock of recognized historical value. Late twentieth-century Tokyo thus presents an illuminating case of the emergence of a new sense of history in the city s physical environment, since it required both a shift in perceptions of value and a search for history in the margins and interstices of a rapidly modernizing cityscape. Scholarship to date has tended to view historicism in the postindustrial context as either a genuine response to loss, or as a cynical commodification of the past. The historical process of Tokyo s historicization suggests other interpretations. Moving from the politics of the public square to the invention of neighborhood community, to oddities found and appropriated in the streets, to the consecration of everyday scenes and artifacts as heritage in museums, Tokyo Vernacular traces the rediscovery of the past - sometimes in unlikely forms - in a city with few traditional landmarks. Tokyo s rediscovered past was mobilized as part of a new politics of the everyday after the failure of mass politics in the 1960s. Rather than conceiving the city as national center and claiming public space as national citizens, the post-1960s generation came to value the local places and things that embodied the vernacular language of the city, and to seek what could be claimed as common property outside the spaces of corporate capitalism and the state. Seller Inventory # AAU9780520280373

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Book Description University of California Press. Condition: New. 2013. 1st Edition. Paperback. Moving from the politics of the public square to the invention of neighborhood community, to oddities found and appropriated in the streets, to the consecration of everyday scenes and artifacts as heritage in museums, this title traces the rediscovery of the past - sometimes in unlikely forms - in a city with few traditional landmarks. Num Pages: 224 pages, baseline scatter. BIC Classification: 1FPJ; HBJF. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 227 x 155 x 14. Weight in Grams: 318. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780520280373

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