Kyoto/ Old Map

Kyoto/ Old Map
Kyoto/ Map showing important historic sites/ World War II/ US Army

Kyoto, as the ancient capital of Japan, has long been regarded as a cultural site with significant historic value.  It is the shrines, the palaces, the gardens and the temples that added up to its sacred identity as an imperial capital. Along with that, there is the ma-chi, the streets and valleys  that constitute a Kyoto of the people. Kyoto’s unique cultural identity and urban fabric is no merely a result of the top-down imperial influence, but also the fruit of bottom-up engagement of the citizens in the city.

Kyoto is a fortunate city. Most of its important historical sites were spared during World War II. The left legacy is recognized by the UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. This heritage from the ancient Kyoto plays a subtle rule in shaping the modern Kyoto. It acts as both constrain and trigger in the urbanization of Kyoto.

Kyoto/ Map of zoning in 17th century
Kyoto/ Map of zoning in 17th century

Map showing Kyoto in the 17th  century with zoning.  A lot of the area is preserved later on as important historic sites.

Kyoto/ Map showing important  historic sites/ World War II/ US Army
Kyoto/ Map showing important historic sites/ World War II/ US Army

Map showing the important historic sites during World War II, drawn by the US Army. All the bombing activities spared the area labeled in red.

Kyoto/Map showing conservation zones and preserved urban green zones in and around Kyoto.
Kyoto/Map showing conservation zones and preserved urban green zones in and around Kyoto.

Map showing the conservation zones and preservation of suburban green districts in and around Kyoto.

Reference:

  • WALEY, P., & FIÉVÉ, N. (2000). Japanese capitals in historical perspective: place, power and memory in Kyoto, Edo and Tokyo. Richmond, Curzon.

2 Comments on “Kyoto/ Old Map

  1. This is a very powerful thesis, drawing a link between (1) the production of a social or cultural order, and subsequently, (2) cultural preservation through urban form. However, to do this well, you may have to choose one and go deeper. Hyun-Ah Kim gave good reinforcing comments about the systemic ordering of society from the Edo period. In fact, by referring to the urban grid alone, one may actually misunderstand that an open-ended democratic grid may have an opposite effect to the creation of social hierarchy. One must make an argument for how the scales of streets, nature of the streets and specific policies and usages of the street led to the possibility of social control. The annotation of each map will need to be strengthened, along with the bibliography.

  2. Post-war development and preservation in Kyoto is a rich topic for research, especially when viewed through the prism of social order. However, many of the arguments you’ve put forth are not supported by the documentation. Additional research and clear diagrams are necessary to demonstrate the relationship between “top-down imperial influence” and the “bottom-up engagement of the citizens”

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