Kyoto City Landscape Policy 2007/ Miyako Kagayakitai Troops

京・輝き隊 – Miyako Kagayakitai Troops

[Local Government] [Public]

The Kyoto City Government believes in order to preserve the cityscape and maintain the city image that it is important to involve the public. The ‘Shining City Troops’ is a group of volunteers gathered by the City Government that are authorized to remove posters, flags and small signboards.

Citizens can form a group of 3 of more people who are over 18 years of age. Together, they must attend lectures organized by the city and learn about the basic laws and examples of illegal adverts before they patrol the streets. 

One on the more controversial examples is the Kyoto University Signboard Street at Hyakumanben [1]. The area is located on the street side and is a place for students to express their views. The signboards would stretch across the street and contains all sorts of creative posters by the students. Although the signs have been part of the university tradition, it is quite disturbing to the community and the ‘Shining City Troops’ had to take it down. Another example is a normal patrol of team 2, removing posters from the street posts near Ote-suji Dori [2].

Kyoto University Signboard Street. Source: Osumituki
Team 2 in Action. Source: 京都府宅地建物取引業協会


[1] Osumituki. “たてかん 撲滅 京大新看板 @京都大学 「サークル看板」が消えゆく運命に” 2018. Accessed 27th December 2018.

[2] 京都府宅地建物取引業協会. “京宅広報”. 2010. Accessed 27th December 2018

2 Comments on “Kyoto City Landscape Policy 2007/ Miyako Kagayakitai Troops

  1. I found the concept of Shining City Troops quite interesting and I am certainly the supporter of such policy because personally i really hate the posters, flag or small signboards because it is really irritating to see such eye-catching artifical add-ons ruins the aesthetic harmony of a urban corners or the architect’s intent in worse case.
    I do agree that such volunteer yet authorised group may cause controversies when they deal with sensitive issues. It actually reminds me of the removal of the political iterations on the democratic wall of the Universities of Hong Kong by unknown groups. The controversies can depend on how much authority is given to the troop. Yet, if the intention is to preserve the citiscape, I believe that clear criteria in censoring the add-ons can avoid the sensitive controversial issues.

    • I guess one of the issues here is also the idea of tradition. The local government sees the historical cityscape as the most traditional aspect of Kyoto and all things that stand against it must be removed. The university students see the signboard street as an important tradition for the university, a place where they can express their opinions freely.

      At what point does a characteristic of the city become a tradition worthy of preservation? And is a traditional cityscape still relevant in the contemporary world, with rising problems of aging population and economic decline. It would be interesting to see how Kyoto deals with these problems in the future policies.

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