Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake

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Harvard University Press, 1991 - Fiction in English - 302 pages
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Certain conjunctions of time and place exert a special fascination--Paris in the twenties, turn-of-the-century Vienna, Weimar Berlin. Tokyo in the years between the Meiji Restoration and the Earthquake of 1923 is one of these. Until 1867 the city was called Edo--it was the shogun's capital, the biggest city in a country almost completely closed to the outside world for two and a half centuries. Then, helter-skelter, it became a modern metropolis brimming with Western fads, ideas, and technologies, exuberantly inventing and imitating even as it yearned for the past it was destroying. East and West met here as never before--or since.

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Review: Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake: How the Shogun's Ancient Capital Became a Great Modern City, 1867-1923

User Review  - John Shelley - Goodreads

I read this just before I moved to Tokyo and it was the perfect introduction to the history of the city. In depth, full of anecdotes and excellently crafted, I couldn't put it down, it took my mind to Japan months before I actually physically arrived. Read full review


The End and the Beginning
Civilization and Enlightenment
The Double Life 00

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About the author (1991)

Seidensticker is professor emeritus of Japanese, Columbia University.

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