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Residences

Senri New Town

  After World War II, the Japan Housing Corp. (presently the Urban Renaissance Agency) was established mainly to relieve the housing shortage issue and improve the housing environment, and the first housing complex constructed by the public Corp. was built in Sakai City, in Osaka Prefecture, the Kanaoka Housing Complex. Up to that time, almost all of the residences in Japan were wooden one-storied houses or terrace houses, with several houses strung together, and the surface area of each residence was very limited, with an insufficient number of modern facilities. Constructed on building sites with ample land, and consisting of several 4- or 5-storied structures made of reinforced concrete, the housing complexes built by the organization drew an overwhelming number of applications for admittance. Drawings were held to determine the tenants, who were the object of envy and called "Danchizoku," literally, the "Complex Tribe."

 In 1961, construction was initiated on the Senri New Town project in the hilly suburban area north of Osaka. This was the first large-scale new town development project in Japan, and the New Housing and Urban Development Act was applied for the first time, affecting the development of many new towns in the following years.

High-rise condominium

 In recent years, a complete change occurred as the urban sprawl phenomenon, the movement towards the suburbs, turned into a tendency for a return to the urban center as demand for residences closer to the work place increased, and construction of high-rise apartments and condominiums for private residences located in the urban center is lively.
 On the other hand, there has been a revival in awareness of the traditional Japanese construction for residences, prompting the repair and restoration of many old homes, etc. The traditional Japanese townhouse was a small-scale residence or store first constructed in the middle of the 18th century during the Edo Period in urban areas with a long history, such as Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, and Tokushima. For a long time, there was a tendency for a decrease in the number of such structures, due to fires caused by air raids in the war and reconstruction with modern buildings, but in recent years, this type of residence with a good atmosphere has been reevaluated, and there is a lot of activity in Kansai for the use of this type of construction for residences and stores. Tthere has also been an increase in the number of cases where young property owners and artists have renovated or converted older buildings into cafes or studios.
 In addition, people are taking a fresh look at old residences such as traditional Japanese farmhouses and the like. Along with this change in awareness, there has been a movement for the restoration and employment of traditional craft products, utensils and furniture, such as chests, bureaus, or cupboards, cooking stoves, and hearths, bringing a new element to the role these traditional articles play in daily life.
 In recent years there has also been an increase in the number of citizens moving from the larger cities to the country after retirement, seeking a quiet, relaxed lifestyle. Including Wakayama Prefecture, with its "A Prefecture Supporting Life In The Country" slogan, many autonomous bodies have initiated programs designed to promote new lifestyles, counter depopulation trends, and stimulate district vitalization.

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