Suburbia as Tool of Soft Power Projection: A Case Study of Washington Heights Dependents Housing Area, Tokyo (1946-61) and the Proselytizing of the Garden Suburb for Rebuilding Japan under GHQ
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Yan, Sheng Hua
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CitationYan, Sheng Hua. 2021. Suburbia as Tool of Soft Power Projection: A Case Study of Washington Heights Dependents Housing Area, Tokyo (1946-61) and the Proselytizing of the Garden Suburb for Rebuilding Japan under GHQ. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractDuring the Allies’ occupation of Japan between 1945 and 1952, Japanese architectural and industrial design expertise was mobilized by the American leadership to provide for the housing needs of the occupying forces. The resulting residential compounds were known as Dependents Housing (DH) areas, and in terms of formal characteristics, replicated those of the Garden Suburb prototype in the United States. More than functioning as an enclave for an “average Western” setting of living, the archetypal DH through various channels, was also tasked with proselytizing the American suburban model as an exemplary solution to Japan’s own chronic shortage of housing and postwar rebuilding.
Using the Washington Heights Dependents Housing Area in Yoyogi as the primary example, this thesis probes the project’s self-declared “forerunner” role as a tool of soft power projection, through analyses of inquiries into Washington Heights’s urban forms and architectural characteristics, its association with and inheritance of past military and defense industrial precedents’ adoption of the Garden Suburb Form, as well as the deployment of propaganda promoting subjects directly or obliquely related to Dependents Housing design under the stricture of occupation.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367855