Access Type

Online access to this book is only available to eligible users.



Download Full Text (34.5 MB)


Japan is one of the most crowded countries on earth, with three-fourths of its population now living in cities. Tokyo is easily the most populous city on the planet. And yet, though closely packed, its citizens dwell together in relative peace. In America, inner-city violence—often attributed in part to overcrowding—is frequently emphasized as one of the great social problems of the day. What might we learn from Japan’s situation that could be applied to our own as we approach the twenty-first century?

In this collection an interdisciplinary group of international scholars seek to understand and explain the process and characteristics shaping the modern Japanese city. With frequent comparisons to the American city, they consider such topics as urban landscapes, the quality of life in the suburbs, spatial mixing of social classes in the city, land use planning and control, environmental pollution, and images of the city in Japanese literature.

The only book on the subject, The Japanese City surveys the important literature and highlights the current issues in urban studies. The numerous photographs, maps, tables, and graphs, combined with the high quality of the contributions, offer a comprehensive look at the contemporary Japanese city.

Contributors: William Burton, David L. Callies, Roman Cybriwsky, Kuniko Fujita, Theodore J. Gilman, Richard Child Hill, P.P. Karan, Robert Kidder, Cotton Mather, and Kohei Okamoto.

P.P. Karan, professor of geography and chair of the Japan Studies Program, and Kristin Stapleton, assistant professor in the department of history, both teach at the University of Kentucky.

"Charts, statistical table, graphs and maps are plentiful: this is an interdisciplinary effort with good bibliographic resources."—Canadian Journal of Urban Research

"An interesting and readable volume that certainly makes a contribution to the slim English-language literature on Japanese cities and Japanese geography."—Geographical Review

"The reader will find informed comments on land use and planning, urban restructuring, social classes, landmarks and cultural symbols, historical consciousness and, of course, environmental pollution; the focus is on contemporary Japan. The book excellently demonstrates that a topic as complex as Japanese cities can only be understood through a multidisciplinary approach."—Journal of Asian Studies

"Relatively little attention has been paid in the field of Japanese studies to the regional and local levels. The Japanese City therefore makes a valuable contribution to the field with its interdisciplinary look at the city."—Miranda A. Schreurs

"An important new contribution to research about Japanese urbanism."—Pacific Affairs

"A welcome addition to the study of Japanese cities."—Urban Studies

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Japan, Urban planning, Japanese urbanism, Urban ecology


Asian History

The Japanese City
Read Sample Off-campus Download for UK only

Consortium members may access while on their campus.