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