Miyakobashi Yokocho: Urban Transformations in Japan between the Tokyo Olympics

Internal description

KTA / IAA (Research) [KTA / IAA R]


This project exposes the social and spatial transformation of Yokohama’s Miyakobashi Yokocho (Harmonica Alley) between the Tokyo Olympics 1964 and 2020.
Miyakobashi Yokocho was constructed to transform a formerly cluttered black market area into an orderly urban marketplace in time for Tokyo’s Olympics 1964. Since, it has evolved into a vibrant entertainment block, containing 61 ‘snack bars’.
Uncommon in a male-dominated society, where women are not usually encouraged to lead independent businesses, most Harmonica Alley proprietors are elderly women. Their narratives provide an intimate account of small-scale urban transitions and synchronous cultural and social change. They expose the importance of small urban spaces as community anchors in the context of pressure to demolish the building and redevelop the area in view of Tokyo’s Summer Olympics 2020.
Building on funded research from 2015 and in collaboration with the Koganecho Area Management Center (KAMC), the project team will conduct additional research, hold a series of workshops with local stakeholders and produce a series of publications.
Short titleR:HDA ESRC IAA Deljana Iossifo
Effective start/end date15/02/1731/12/17

Related information


Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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