(208) Ghosts of Showa: the Karasuyama apartment complex, gated communities, & the fight for Tokyo’s soul

the tokyo files 東京ファイル

“Visiting a ghost town is like seeing someone wearing a California Golden Seals hockey jersey: it’s sad and cool at the same time.”  I Am The Cheese blog: Ghost Towns

I.  Team ground 団地  (danchi)

In February I stumbled through the tightly packed streets south of Chitose-Karasuyama station and into an open patch of ground dotted with dilapidated houses and scarred by the foundations of extinct homes.  Open land in Tokyo exists but always with a clear purpose: park, garden, parking lot…this land was altogether different. These were the remains of the Karasuyama apartment complex 烏山第一団地. The complex goes by many names, all of which are listed at the bottom of this post.  The mostly demolished complex is one of the earliest examples of danchi 団地 “group/team land”, large clusters of apartments that gained in popularity in the 1950’s. The details:

  • Karasuyama apartment complex 烏山第一団地
  • Minamikarasuyama…

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