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Author Murakami pleads for keeping Tokyo park and baseball stadium that inspired his writing

33 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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33 Comments
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Has any conservation movement in Japan ever permanently protected anything other than a few top tier temples? Sadly there is almost no respect for architectural heritage and history in Japan. Nothing gets saved for future generations.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

""Followers of baseball and rugby history are opposed to it, as well as conservationists and civil groups who say the project has advanced without transparency, adequate environmental assessment or explanation to the residents.""

Probably that is the case, Bribes, Scams, Scandals, Corruption all glide under the radar, big construction money is behind this development and as usual is NEVER TRANSPARENT it's not how it's done in this dark industry.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

the new stadiums will be surrounded by nearly 200-meter (650-foot) tall office buildings in a commercial complex.

And no doubt they will be grey and generic. The plan seems to be to make everywhere the same.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Don’t forget about the fat cat priests at Meiji Jingu who signed off on this plan.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Has any conservation movement in Japan ever permanently protected anything other than a few top tier temples? Sadly there is almost no respect for architectural heritage and history in Japan. Nothing gets saved for future generations.

Tokyo Station is a good example. It was slated for demolition and replacement, but a conservation movement was able to change the plans and preserve it.

I hope this one succeeds too, the current plan is just rotten to its core.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I wonder which big developer has been selected for this redevelopment? I hope to god it's not Mori Building with their giant expensive concrete tombs built for the uber wealthy only!

Hopefully someone with Murakami's star power will draw enough bad press to make them rethink this terrible decision.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I predict this change will ruin the current vibe and environment of that area.

Koike needs another project to distract from her failed Olympics and COVID response. She need those brown envelopes for her next election campaign.

She is vulnerable and knows it.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

I do not understand why Japan seems to need to eradicate every trace of green in their urban environment. Totally at odd to the evidence showing the benefit, indeed the psychological need humans have for green space.

Oh god no! There is a blade of grass, quick concrete it!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I would say that the developers have done a pretty decent job in revitalizing areas that were already urbanized, like the Otemachi / Marunouchi area with more greenery than before (not hard to do, but still quite aesthetically pleasing). I can't say the same when they destroy neighborhoods and small businesses, like what they did in Toranomon and are currently doing in Kamiyacho. As another poster mentioned earlier, they all look the same, have the same "oshare" predictable English names, and have the same restaurants and amenities. Many of them initially have decent looking greenery, until you visit it a year later when they are choked with weeds. A very sad statement for a city that is know to have one of the smallest % of urban greenery. And if we are supposed to be in a economic slump, who the heck is going to occupy all of those new buildings.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I wonder which big developer has been selected for this redevelopment?

Mitsui Fudosan and Itochu.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dear Lord! Don't tear down a concrete baseball "field" with artificial turf laid over even more concrete!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

My sincere apologies Mr Haruki Murakami. This is the only patch of land in Japan's rich historical heritage UNESCO did not consider to be included on the intangible cultural heritage( including your jogging path).

Koike & UNESCCO cannot be trusted.

Guess you can dig my drift here!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Tearing down a famous old baseball stadium is a bit like destroying an old church. It just doesn’t feel right.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As if Tokyo needs any more concrete, glass and steel monstrosities.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"As if Tokyo needs any more concrete, glass and steel monstrosities."

Apparently it does

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

"Because Tokyo is lacking in new high rise commercial complexes…

is there actual demand for all this office space?"

Well, as rural areas depopulate, Tokyo will become increasingly more populated. Clearly, there is a need for the space.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

So how long does the stadium need to remain? 100 more years? Its not Wrigley, its not Fenway. Its a bland outdated stadium that is falling apart. The trees are getting old too. They aren't going to be around forever either.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan's landmass is 70% forest. Tokyo is its economic, urban center. The loss of an outdated concrete and iron baseball stadium with a concrete field covered by fake, plastic grass is hardly a "cultural" loss. I'm sure the players who play in that dump would agree, as would anyone who has experienced sitting on one of those plastic, backless "chairs" placed on concrete slabs. That stadium has the "park" atmosphere of a shopping mall parking lot.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Tokyo is continuing on that bubble-era mindset, on a relentless path of creating an ugly dystopian concrete monstrosity. Authorities are absolutely determined to bulldoze and pave over the entire city and completely fill it with horrendous residential/office tower complexes. Not a single tree or blade of grass shall remain and the people shall be happy.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

"Tokyo is continuing on that bubble-era mindset, on a relentless path of creating an ugly dystopian concrete monstrosity. Authorities are absolutely determined to bulldoze and pave over the entire city and completely fill it with horrendous residential/office tower complexes. Not a single tree or blade of grass shall remain and the people shall be happy."

I could result as an impetus to populate the surrounding rural areas that are as verdant as anywhere on the planet.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

*it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well, as rural areas depopulate, Tokyo will become increasingly more populated. Clearly, there is a need for the space.

Tokyo has an extraordinarily low birth rate. Despite migration from rural areas, its net population growth is nearly flat, and will turn negative just like everywhere else in the near future.

Also, while Tokyo definitely needs “space”, it doesn’t need more office and commercial space.

I'm sure the players who play in that dump would agree

They don’t.

as would anyone who has experienced sitting on one of those plastic, backless "chairs" placed on concrete slabs.

Neither do they.

The same arguments (except for artificial turf) could have been made against Koshien a few years ago, but instead of tearing it down they decided to renovate it, both keeping the history and bringing the ballpark up to modern standards. Tokyo has a huge opportunity to do the same with Jingu, but instead are planning to throw it all away. Its a horrible loss of an opportunity and reflective of poor governance.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

“Please leave that pleasant jogging course full of greenery and the lovely Jingu Stadium as it is. Once something is destroyed, it can never be restored.”

Please leave the ginkgo trees alone and stop trimming them up fastigiata like sticks. Yes, your budget will shrink but the work is unnecessary.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Murakami just needs to bribe the government officials with more money than the developers are paying, and they'd gladly put a stop to it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Does he use silk hankies to catch all his millionaire tears?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I wish Tokyo would look to Sendai guidance. The northern city has done an excellent job of preserving and expanding the green belt in and around the city. Makes a huge difference to summer temperatures in the city too.

Those above who point out shocking governance by the Tokyo metropolitan government are right on the money.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The more I look into this situation, the more I empathize with the activists and communities that oppose this project.

The plan is to essentially bulldoze a nice, historical area of the city and replace everything there with a bunch of crap. Totally unnecessary, expensive, noisey, and wasteful. It's not just about the stadium. It's about the principle and the philosophy behind these decisions.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sendai is beautiful. The city is almost like a garden. Tokyo is a mow and blow town.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Totally agree. I live near a big famous park in Tokyo and after the 2011 earthquake the swimming pool cracked and now has weeds growing while new parking lots have been built nearby. Disgraceful.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's landmass is 70% forest. Tokyo is its economic, urban center. The loss of an outdated concrete and iron baseball stadium with a concrete field covered by fake, plastic grass is hardly a "cultural" loss. I'm sure the players who play in that dump would agree, as would anyone who has experienced sitting on one of those plastic, backless "chairs" placed on concrete slabs. That stadium has the "park" atmosphere of a shopping mall parking lot.

Double A ball parks are better than this old facility. Even high schools in America have better facilities if their program is competitive. I’m

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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