Make a Donation to the NBN

The NBN is run by volunteers, but the network has expenses. If you like what we do, consider making a contribution

Louise YoungBeyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan

University of California Press, 2013

by Carla Nappi on September 17, 2013

Louise Young

View on Amazon

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] During the interwar period (1918-1937), the city began to take its modern shape in Japan. At the same time, development in the Japanese provinces became a capitalist frontier in a new phase of industrial revolution. In Beyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan (University of California Press, 2013), Louise Young traces these phenomena in an innovative and fluid narrative that is also a pleasure to read.  Young shifts our focus beyond Tokyo, the city that usually looms large in studies of Japanese modernity, and instead explores the worlds and the archives of the provincial city. Focusing on Sapporo, Kanazawa, Okayama, and Niigata, Young’s book is a fascinating study of the city as material network and social imaginary. The narrative celebrates and respects local differences in these very different urban localities, while at the same time tracing the emergence of shared spatial and temporal ways of living in the world. It is a careful, sensitive, and important study, and it changed the way I think about locality and Japan in history. Enjoy!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: