Ethnic Communities and Their Contact Channels in Japan: A Case of the Islamic Area in Inner City Tokyo.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 08:50
Oral Presentation
Mitsuko ONO, Rikkyo Institute for Global Urban Studies, Rikkyo University, Japan
This study focuses on the Islamic Area in Okubo district of Shinjuku Ward which is located in inner city Tokyo. And, I will try to clarify the features of the current inner city of Tokyo through the people and the ethnic facilities which are forming multicultural space in this area and their contact channels using these people or ethnic facilities.

The sociological study focusing on the “City” especially, the “inner city” started in the early 1920s and was developed in Chicago University. Sociology in Japan which focuses on the study of the “inner city” had started later in the1980s. In the late 1980s of Japan, foreign workers had increased rapidly because of a lack of labor caused by the bubble economy in Japan. In such a social context, the study that focuses on the “inner city” had begun and has clarified mainly features of the urban way of life related to ethnicity.

Shinjuku Ward which is inner city of Tokyo has the highest number of foreign residents in Tokyo. The foreign population in Shinjuku has increased rapidly after 1985 and the growth is continuing slowly until the present. But in the period between 2011 and 2013, the population decreased because of the Great East Japan Earthquake. But regardless, Shinjuku Ward continues to have the largest number of foreign residents. According to the Shinjuku Ward, the number of foreign population in September 2017 is 41,915 and the percentage of the total population is 12%.

The current inner city Tokyo, analyzed through the Islamic area in Okubo district in Shinjuku Ward, has many circuits of migrant transnational practices and is a multicultural space that migrant transnational practices which used to be invisible to the host society has come up to a head.