American Sociological Association

Japanese Gentrification from a Local Community Perspective

Japanese urban change after the 1990s, studied mostly under the name of reurbanization or “return to the city centres,” was little understood abroad. To locate Japan in the literature on gentrification, the Horie neighborhood in Osaka's Nishi Ward was studied as an example of post‐bubble neighborhood change. The aim of this study was to account for Horie's present situation after Tachibana Street's revitalization from the perspectives of different social groups. The research, based on a three‐year long qualitative field study, found that the attitudes of these various social groups to revitalization were connected to the type and intensity of their relationships with the area. Furthermore, Horie's lack of irresolvable social tensions over revitalization indicated a major difference between Japanese post‐industrial urban change and other gentrification models of the Global North and South. The study concludes by suggesting we should think out of the revitalization construct to protect the local neighborhood culture.


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