The reconstruction of bombed cities in Japan after the Second World War

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The reconstruction of bombed cities in Japan after the Second World War has recently attracted much attention and has given rise to important research in English on exceptional cases, such as Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima. This research shows that these cities were forced to retreat from the initial idealistic planning for reconstruction owing to pressure from central government, and that local authorities were not able to incorporate the views of ordinary people under the town planning system at that time. This paper examines the cases of eight provincial cities that were designated by the government in the late 1940s as 'model cities' of war-damage reconstruction, as they were considered to have made remarkable progress. The planned major reconstruction of the eight cities, which brought about substantial changes to their physical forms, was in most cases characterized by a wide street leading to a new square fronting the principal railway station. However, the reaction of ordinary citizens to the official reconstruction proposals often prevented their full implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalUrban Morphology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr 17



  • Civil involvement
  • Japan
  • Post-war reconstruction
  • Second World War
  • Urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Urban Studies

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