Kyoto/ genius loci
During the Edo period, there was a strict establishment of control and zoning by the Japanese authority in reinforcing their own culture and identity. It is acknowledged that a complete transformation of Kyoto, the imperial capital city, gave raise to an urban spatial configuration reflecting order and social hierarchy. By that time, classifications in the social system was enacted. This significantly insisted on traditional social hierarchies of esteem and status, and , to name them, bringing emperor, shogun, daimyo, samurai, peasant, artisan and merchant in the social order.
Comparing the maps below, we can see the retaining of the grid streets layout from the rectification during the time of Edo in the few-centuries-later streets maps. The stratification indicates the reshaping and redefining of the nation’s capital during Edo and its significance in asserting the ambience of Kyoto. The remarkably strong imposition of cultural identity and social structure in Kyoto was found to be, in my opinion, significant in depicting the cultural preservation and internalization of the Japanese.
This is the map of the streetscapes of Kyoto and its surrounding in 1653.
This is the streets map of Kyoto in 1894.
This is the map of Kyoto in 1969.