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Title: Forging Fukuoka: Locality and Development in Modern Japan
Authors: Eason, Paul
Advisors: Garon, Sheldon M
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: Economic Development
Urban History
Subjects: Asian history
Asian studies
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines the development of the city of Fukuoka, on the island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan, from its incorporation in 1889 to the closing years of the twentieth century. It analyzes how national trends played out in a regional context, complicating existing narratives of the Japanese developmental model. Far away from Japan's center, Fukuoka's shift from nondescript provincial town to regional metropolis, all while failing to develop a significant industrial base and receiving little direct attention or help from the powerful national bureaucracy, was neither inevitable nor linear. The case of Fukuoka suggests the need to rethink the significance of local and regional distinctions in postwar Japan, and the limitations of reducing modern Japan's history to one single aggregate narrative. It also elucidates the empowerment of localities in the postwar period, documenting the increasing sophistication and scope of local authority alongside its limitations. Chapter One examines the history of Fukuoka from its formation through the first two decades of the twentieth century, including the long premodern and early modern histories of the city that affected its modern development. Chapter Two chronicles the focus on developing the city's port to accelerate economic development during the Interwar period, and the gulf between policies fixated on industrialization and the city's heavily commercial economic base. The dislocation and destruction created by wartime mobilization and the 1945 firebombing of Fukuoka effectively upended the political and economic structures in place up to 1945. The postwar era from 1945 to the early 1980s is the focus of Chapters Three and Four. Through clever and ambitious planning coupled with shifts in Japan's political and economic structures, Fukuoka embraced its role as a "service economy" well before it became a model in development planning and policy. Local autonomy allowed for sophisticated planning models, but the city struggled to promote civic engagement among its citizens. Chapter Five examines the resilience of Fukuoka's economic and planning models in the face of Japan's post-bubble economic and demographic problems. The Epilogue considers the state of contemporary Japan and the potential to resolve underlying problems that collectively affect Fukuoka, Kyushu, and Japan.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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