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Visualizing Postwar Tokyo, Part 1

Analyze the history of change and development in postwar Tokyo from different perspectives using archived photographs, films, and TV programs.

There is one session available:

16,528 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Jul 23
Estimated 6 weeks
5–6 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
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About this course

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Tokyo emerged out of the ruins of war to become a large city of 10 million people in only a quarter of a century. During this process of change, the capital of a military empire that once invaded East Asia experienced occupation by the U.S. armed forces, hosted the Olympic Games, and transformed into a consumer hub where young people could enjoy economic “wealth.” It is important to know that this process was recorded in countless photographs, documentary films, TV programs, and so on. We will retrieve many of these archived pictures and videos and analyze what happened in postwar Tokyo from different perspectives. In Part 1, you will look at the changes that occurred in postwar Tokyo over a quarter of a century from four different perspectives: 1) occupation and Americanism; 2) imperial gaze and royal wedding; 3) The Olympic city; and 4) economic-cultural clash in Shinjuku. This examination of urban history will provide you with the insights necessary when considering changes in other large cities in Asia, such as Seoul, Beijing, and Bangkok, at the end of the twentieth century.

UTokyo is participating in the Tokyo 2020 Support Programme.

Course created with support from

Tokyo 2020 Support Programme

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated programs:

What you'll learn

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  • Noteworthy factors which promoted the development and change of Tokyo in the postwar period
  • The impact of the U.S. occupation on the people and city of Tokyo
  • The change of “gazing” relationship between the emperor and people in Japan
  • The impact of Tokyo Olympic Games on the landscape of Tokyo
  • How Shinjuku achieved its development in the 1960s and the factors which led to its economic-cultural clash

About the instructors

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