Council on East Asian Studies: “Finding Kabukicho”

Event time: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 4:30pm
Henry R. Luce Hall, Room 202 See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520
Event description: 

The Council on East Asian Studies presents

Nathaniel M. Smith, Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University: 

“Finding Kabukicho.”

Over the past several decades, Tokyo’s most infamous nightlife district experienced a striking renaissance. Driven by metro government “clean up” efforts, changing demographics, and the breathless rush to the ill-fated 2020 Olympic games, the vibrant but seedy neighborhood of Kabukicho garnered global attention. Yet all was not bright: redevelopment efforts faced friction in this independent-minded corner of the capitol. This talk reflects on Kabukicho’s post-WWII history of diversity, its fitful rebranding as a “Cool Japan” tourist mecca, and more recently, ways the neighborhood contended with the pandemic. What does this cosmopolitan but decidedly marginal enclave in the heart of Tokyo portend for Japan’s future?

Open to: 
General Public