A railway station as a public space: The case of Tokyo

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A railway station as a public space: The case of Tokyo

Type: Master thesis
Title: A railway station as a public space: The case of Tokyo
Author: Dingjan, Matthias
Issue Date: 2014-08-31
Keywords: Tokyo
Railway Stations
Tokyo Station
Ikebukuro Station
Tokyo Station
Abstract: Though the history of Japanese railway companies share similarities with those found for example in the Netherlands and Belgium, there are differences. I argue that these differences facilitated the control of private railway companies in Japan. Furthermore, Japanese railway companies expand on their service by undertaking various side businesses such as department stores, being active in real estate, and so on. Because of this difference in activities, I argue that their impact on the development of railway stations as a public space has been greater than those found in Europe. Even though it can be argued that space is political, space itself is shaped by historical and natural elements. Thus, to understand how Japanese railway companies have influenced public space, it is important to look at its historical component. I will first discuss space and social theory and use this as a starting point for my theoretical framework, allowing for an insight into how spaces are defined and how they influence social interaction. After discussing general theory on space, I will discuss space within an urban setting in order to demonstrate how different aspects of theory on space come into play. I will delve into how urban environments like cities are divided but also how on the other hand these are connected with each other. Within the established framework, I will then focus on two railway stations, Ikebukuro Station and Tokyo Station, to demonstrate that even though they are both a public space they differ in their representation of a public space
Supervisor: Mark, Ethan
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Asian Studies (120 EC) (Master)
Specialisation: Japanese Studies
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/29532

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