[Updated on Apr. 18] Integration of CiNii Articles into CiNii Research

Community Building in Naha Shintoshin, Okinawa From the View of Gender Studies


The purpose of this paper is to describe the relationship between the nuclear family and the housing environment from a perspective of residential space in Okinawa, Japan, focusing on the processes of community building in Naha Shintoshin. This is an analysis of a redevelopment project in the former residential district of the U.S. Armed Forces Base. The district was returned to Okinawa Prefecture, Japan in 1987. Naha City and landowners have been jointly participating in the community building since the 1989 official redevelopment plan’s approval. The research presented here partially supports the idea that residential space can reinforce gender inequalities. However, in this paper I argue that residential space can be an arena for the changing of gender relations. By describing how landowners take part in that development and how residents participate in community building in this area, I argue that many movements for community building tend to have an influence on power relations within the private residence and play an important role in deciding the basis of the ordering of daily life. In Okinawa there has been a custom of strict male familial succession, totome, in the patriarchal system. It is said that this custom has affected community building processes traditionally. But this reproduction space in the form of the community building may be an alternative space for active women to potentially change their power relations with men since the community building movements take place outside of the patriarchal system.


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