Gated communities are rare in Japan. The following is a post I wrote for thetokyofiles.com that lists and maps 12 gated communities in Japan.
I. Un-welcome to Glorio Roka Park
“Glorio” グローリオ is a luxury housing brand developed by SECOM セコム株式会社, the security giant. A few years back, while researching the demolition of the Karasuyama danchi 烏山第一団地, I read that SECOM was building a gated community in Minami-karasuyama, near Roka-koen Station 芦花公園駅, on the site of another former danchi.
The kanji for ‘danchi’, 団地, literally means group 団 land 地. Danchi provided housing for Japan’s booming, increasingly urban, population following WWII. Today there is a certain amount of nostalgia for the post-war economic boom and the no-frills apartments that helped fuel that boom.
Danchi call to mind the egalitarian post-war Japanese ideal of “100 million middle-class” 「一億総中」: a playground busy with children; hard workers happy with a modest home; bicycles. Or a scenes like this…which include Robert Kennedy’s 1962 visit to Kaori Danchi 香里団地, in Osaka Prefecture.
SECOM completed Glorio Roka Park 「グローリオ蘆花公園」 in 2010 on the site of the former Roka danchi 芦花住宅…
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