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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The End and the Beginning
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actors Akasaka aristocracy Asakusa became Bridge buildings bureaucratic capital castle century city limits Civilization and Enlightenment crowds culture decades district dress early Meiji earthquake east emperor end of Meiji famous fifteen wards fire foreign settlement Fukagawa geisha geisha quarter Ginza Hibiya High City Hongo Honjo houses Imperial Japanese Kabuki Kafu's Kanda Kiyochika Kqjimachi Kubota Mantaro Kyobashi Kyoto ladies land late Edo late Meiji licensed quarters look Low City Marunouchi Meiji emperor merchant mid-Meiji Mitsui Mitsukoshi moat modern moved Nagai Kafu Nihombashi opening Osaka Osanai Kaoru palace park perhaps pleasure quarters plebeian popular Prefecture rickshaw river Rokumeikan seems Shiba Shimbashi Shimbashi Station Shinagawa Shinjuku Shintomiza Shirokiya Shitaya shogun shrine sort station street suburbs Sumida Sumo survived Taisho Taisho Period Tanizaki Tanizaki Junichiro teahouses temple theater things Tokugawa traditional trolley Tsukiji Ueno Western woodcut Yanagibashi Yokohama Yose Yoshiwara