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A Shared Space in the Business Area of Tokyo: Neighborhood Organization (Chounaikai) in Japan

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Ouchi, Tazuko
Conference: Commoners and the Changing Commons: Livelihoods, Environmental Security, and Shared Knowledge, the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Mt. Fuji, Japan
Conf. Date: June 3-7
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8947
Sector: Urban Commons
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): urban commons
Abstract: "This paper explains about grass roots common space in the modern Tokyo. Even today, many citizens lived in Tokyo still have been organized for Chounaikai. All the same Choukai/Chounaikai/Jichikai isa meaning of neighborhood organization. Chounaikai (rest is omitted afterward) being quite similar to the neighborhood association in America have normally their geographical territory. The territory of Chounaikai as a shared space contributes to enrichment of neighborhood's life. A well known example is Ujiko(Child of Clan)of the shrine that is specified in a kind of parish membership. Ujiko is defined by the place where residents settle in. Ujiko belongs to a parish and is given sanctuary of Ujigami(or Ubusunashin). A smaller level of Ujiko territory often overlaps with Chounaikai boundary. So that residents organize a rituals and command office of shrine's festival in each Chounaikai. Another example is that people patrol always within the territory of Jichikai/ Chounaikai and so on. One case study mentioned here was researched by participant observation. The case's name is Shirakawasanchoume choukai. Shirakawa-san(3)-choumeChoukai is the neighborhood organization to whichI am belongingnow. The neighborhood has old history at least in document from the Greater Kanto Earthquake(1923). I have been living there since 2005. The neighborhood is so much prospering with population growth of 1000 households due to the construction of high-rise condominium in 2005. Anyhow, Choukai/chounaikai is not legally authorized anywhere with Chihou-jichi-hou (LocalAutonomy Act) like as Zaisanku. Nevertheless, Choukai/ Chounai-kai/Jichikai have been having a strong voice on the land use and seem to characterize by something commons. This paper also shows many latest pictures concerning Choukaiin Shirakawa sanchoume. I hope many readers would be able to understand that the grassroots in Tokyo have been growing urban commons in their Chounaikai's territory."

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