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The individual defines the large scale[1]. City of parts[2]. And depending on your viewpoint each entity has the characteristics of a “whole” as well as a “part”[3].  One does not live beside, but within the Tokyo landscape of gardens, a place of growth, of maximized spontaneity (Carse, 1986:118). The individual action of gardening is personal, deliberate and goal-oriented[4] but is a form of use-related behaviour which addresses human(e) needs through an act of creation which is not deliberately designed (‘professional’) landscape architecture/art[5] (after Brandes, Stich, Wender, 2009:184). This is not simply utility optimization under classical microeconomic assumptions and not untamed nature, but a collection of rituals and personal aesthetics[6] (Bleecker and Nova, 2009:26).

Paralleling the development of Edo[7], everyday Tokyo takes shape as an accumulation of the activities of individuals or groups making the most of the individuality of distinct place[8] [9] (Jinnai, 1995:21) but with a horizontal solidarity[10] that (unlike the all encompassing city visions of Europe) forms (in amorphous aggregate) Tokyo’s non-intentional[11] landscape of not only flowers, green and edibles but dense and replete[12] with memories and meanings , traditions and social norms, relationships and support[13]. Spontaneous and continuous, the activity of a whole people with a common heritage, acting under a community of experience[14] maintains the living urban fabric through an enormous number of daily small-scale interventions which are an essential part of the process of organic repair (Salingaros et al., 2010:94, Ashihara, 1989:58; Tsukamoto) – Spacedeterminators. Made by man. Dynamic. Shortliving. Ever changing (Hollein, 1960) – Friendly to surprise (Sennett, 2006b).

Experiencing Tokyo at foot, hand, nose and eye-level the senses, challenged by the rich intricacy of the design, roam back and forth over the entire fabric, not from afar but by drawing close, captivated by a flower, an animal, a head, lingering where they please, retracing their paths, taking the whole only by the assimilation of its parts, not commanding the design at a single glance (Mumford, 1961:306[15]).

[1] Again, Feireiss, (2000:5)

[2] Ashihara (1989)

[3] Ashihara (1989:94). The parts and the whole are of equal value, individual and super-individual (the totality) coexist without losing their identities and there is no hierarchical pyramid which unifies the whole and the parts (Kurokawa, 1991:chpt6).

[4] refer to MOTIVATIONS, above; see discussion of NID in Brandes, Stich, Wender (2009 esp 180).

[5] We now have no art, we just do everything as well as possible (McLuhan, 1966:94-5).

[6] Not untamed nature. The Japanese can be said to have a much more idealized relationship to nature, preferring abstracted nature to free-standing plants. This may be why land near park areas is not sought after as it is in the West (Ohno, in Maki, 2000a:34).

[7] And similar to Japanese tearoom architecture, where traditional spatial elements such as ceilings, alcoves, and walls are autonomous – that is, on independent planes of a two dimensional world (Kurokawa, 1991;chpt6).

[8] Functionally distinguishable spatial independence in modern Tokyo imbues the city cores (nodes, nubs, neighbourhoods) with different characters, making it difficult to grasp the metropolitan scale in a single glance (Terada, 2000a:19).

[9] Contributions, however small, of committed people (Kurokawa, 1991:chpt10).

[10] Like the history and structure of chōnaikai (neighbourhood organizations) (Smith, 1978:67)

[11] Sunyata – “Truly non-existent but mysteriously existent” (see Kurokawa, 1991:chpt6, etc)

[12] Kurokawa (1991:chpt6)

[13] This idea is a social psychological extension of the notion of city making as landscaping present in the Edo period (Jinnai, 1995:137)

[14] Pietro Belluschi quoted in Rudofsky (1964:preface)

[15] Quoted in Bookchin (1974:99) discussing medieval cities.