Mejiro Cultural Village 目白文化村 めじろぶんかむら (Mejiro Bunkamura) was a luxury residential area 高級住宅街 said to be modeled after Beverly Hills (source). I will provide the general information, but if you’re interested in more details, let me refer you to the following comprehensive website:

Where: Mejiro Cultural Village is located in Shinjuku ward, west of Mejiro Station (of the JR Yamanote line), and north of Nakai and Shimo-Ochiai stations (of the Seibu-Shinjuku Line).

When: The village was built in the 1920s; many of the houses were destroyed during World War II. Constructions occurred in five stages:

  • 1922: 第一文化村 First cultural village / 目白不動園 Mejiro Fudo Garden
  • 1923: 第二文化村 Second cultural village
  • 1924: 第三文化村 Third cultural village
  • 1925: 第四文化村 Fourth cultural village
  • 1929: 第五文化村 Fifth cultural village

Maps:

This is an outline of the Meiji Cultural Village; the colors correspond to the colored sections on the map from following site: 目白文化村.

mejiro-cultural-village-shinjuku-tokyo-map

(See also the “Tokyo urban design” map at bottom.)

What the village looked like:

Tokyo Air Raids:

In 1945, residents of the village were surprised to become victims of air raids, as there were no barracks, factories, or other military sites nearby.

According to one site, 59% of the village was burned to the ground in the raids(source):

mejiro-cultural-village-tokyo-air-raid-fire-damage-map

What the village looks like today:

Although most of the original buildings are gone, the neighborhood retains much of the quiet, dignified charm. The following houses are probably from the original villages:

MCV1 (map) – even if the building is not an original, the site appears to be original:

 

MCV2 (map) – a white clapboard house that seems quite likely to be an original:

MCV3 (map) – nicely-manicured trees:

MCV4 (map) – a tudor-style house that appears to be original, and in a large, well-manicured lot:

Posts with pictures of the neighborhood today:

Art

Mejiro Cultural Village was often used as the setting for paintings by Yuzo Saeki 佐伯祐三 (1898-1928). The following is a painting of the village’s tennis court (source):

tennis-court-painting-yuzo-saeki-mejiro

The following site includes over fifty of Yuzo Saeki’s paintings of the neighborhood: 佐伯祐三の『下落合風景』描画ポイント  Paintings by Yuzo Saeki, with photos from today. The Yuzo Saeki Atelier Memorial Hall 佐伯祐三アトリエ記念館 is located just to the east of the village, and can be visited today (website)(map):

Also of note is the nearby Tsune Nakamura (1887-1924) Atelier Museum 新宿区立中村彝アトリエ記念館, closer to Mejiro Station. Nakamura was a contemporary of Yuzo Saeki.

Other:

Mejiro Cultural Village occupies land in the following Tokyo neighborhoods:
  • Shinjuku-ku Nishi-ochiai 1-chome 東京都 新宿区西落合 1丁目 (a small portion)
  • Shinjuku-ku Naka-ochiai 4-chome 東京都 新宿区中落合 4丁目 (this is most of the western portion)
  • Shinjuku-ku Nakai 2-chome 東京都 新宿区中井 2丁目 (a small bit that juts down south from the western portion)
  • Shinjuku-ku Naka-ochiai 1-chome 東京都 新宿区中落合 1丁目 (a small portion, if any; this is the section of on south side of the large intersection that divides the village)

Links:

See also:

Tokyo urban design map:

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