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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses urbanization in Japan from the nineteenth century. After the Meiji Restoration (1868) urban change was initially slow, but from the end of the nineteenth century Western-style industrialization, along with state reforms, energized modern urbanization — building on the advanced urban system of the early modern era. By the 1920s urbanization rates had reached 18 percent, the big cities were growing fast (Tokyo, for instance, numbered nearly 4 million at the time of the 1923 earthquake), while the urban infrastructure was modernized with the introduction of town planning and social welfare reforms.

Keywords: Japanese cities, urbanization, Meiji Restoration, industrialization, urban infrastructure, town planning, social welfare reforms

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