Hamacho Park, Tokyo, c. 1930.

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Hamacho Park, Tokyo, c. 1930.

Hamacho Park, Tokyo, c. 1930.

“Waterside spaces in post-earthquake Tokyo provided the most direct expression possible of modernism in urban place formation.

Map: Public Parks

Tokyo public parks.

“… First came the earthquake recovery projects of Hamacho and Sumida parks, both featuring modern promenades along the Sumida waterfront. They and Kinshi Park – the three major parks incorporated into the city’s earthquake recovery plans – were meant to promote the health, sanitation, rest, and recreation that Tokyo residents required. They were also planned to aid in fire prevention and to serve as evacuation sites in case of emergency.

“In the case of Hamacho Park, the acquisition of rights to the land was comparatively easy because the land had only three owners, beginning with the Hosokawa family. Important sections of the property, however, were occupied by the well-known pleasure quarter that had developed along the Hamacho waterfront, and their acquisition and transfer were complicated. In the end, because of a ruling by the Land Expropriation Review Board, the preserve of old Edo was removed; in its place a splendid park was constructed, which used modern design to express the concept of water-friendliness.”

Tokyo: A Spatial Anthropology, by Hidenobu Jinnai, 1995

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