Following in line with its ever-growing city model, Tokyo has been developing tirelessly. The lifespan of a typical building is said to be about 40 to 50 years. Buildings that are approaching the end of their cycle today were built on the eve of the bubble economy, at the height of the period of high economic growth.
In other words, if things continue as they have been, the landscape that we fortysomethings grew up seeing will soon disappear. Will the super urban areas and landscapes—that are not photogenic enough to be preserved and have not simply been given attention to—that are the subject of massive developments disappear? With this in mind, a group of people close to my age decided to take walk through the landscapes that we recall when we hear “Tokyo” and have long remained in our memories.
One of the researchers is novelist Wen Yuju. At the age of three, she moved from Taiwan to Japan with her family, was raised in Tokyo, and lives here today. Some foreigners live in Japan temporarily to study or to work, and some settle down permanently. How does Wen, who has lived in Tokyo for a long time—almost 40 years—view Tokyo today?
And so this was the starting point for this research.