Reading the Urban Space and the Urban Image Under the Reconstruction After World War Two: Photographs Taken in Ginza (Tokyo, 1945)

Journal title STORIA URBANA
Author/s Sato Yoichi
Publishing Year 2014 Issue 2013/140-141
Language Italian Pages 37 P. 183-219 File size 9587 KB
DOI 10.3280/SU2013-140007
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

This paper inquires about the real conditions and the meaning of urban space during the reconstruction after WWII, mainly using photographic materials, to understand which have been the camera-eye used and the urban image produced. The main materials of investigation are photographs taken in 1945 in Ginza, a central commercial district of Tokyo. An outline of the urban transformation from the 1930’s up to 1945, is followed by the analysis of the photographic documentation of the air raids undertaken in Ginza by the Allied forces, which allows to fi nd out the relationship between photographer and urban space and, fi nally, to clarify the meaning of the urban image brought by the photographs taken from the 1940’s up to the 1950’s. Those photographs, taken during very limited opportunities by a very limited number of persons and from special visual angles possible only in that particular heavily fragmented urban space, enable us to regain the image of the weak. In fact, they represent the viewpoint of the weak, of the discriminated, of the defeated nation’s people and of the citizens, against that of the victorious nations and of the army. Photographing itself had the meaning of regaining what was lost and this "revival of the look" overlapped with the postwar reconstruction of the townscape, which was connected also to creating fi lm and photographic works. In this study, the relationship between the urban space and its image is identifi ed as a social product.

Keywords: Photograph Tokyo Urban space Air raid Post-war Reconstruction

Sato Yoichi, Spazio urbano e sua immagine fotografica nella ricostruzione postbellica di Ginza (Tokyo, 1945) in "STORIA URBANA " 140-141/2013, pp 183-219, DOI: 10.3280/SU2013-140007