Professor, School of Cultural and Creative Studies, Aoyama Gakuin University
Dr. Ito was born in Kyoto in 1952. He studied in the Faculty of Engineering's Department of Architecture at the University of Tokyo, and subsequently completed a master’s degree and doctorate at the Graduate School of Engineering at the same university. He held positions as a teaching assistant, associate professor, and professor at the University of Tokyo before moving to his current post as a professor at Aoyama Gakuin University's School of Cultural and Creative Studies in April 2018. Doctor of Engineering (D.Eng) Dr. Ito has been a visiting professor at Columbia University in the US and at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (École des hautes études en sciences sociales) in France.
He specializes in urban and architectural history. His efforts are focused on establishing and broadening research in urban history within the field of architectural history, and on building an international network for such research. In December 2013, Dr. Ito founded the first urban history academic conference in Japan with the aim of building a platform for interdisciplinary research on cities. Recently, he planned and led several field studies of cities and architecture both in Japan and abroad and published his findings. Currently, he is conceiving a new paradigm for the development of urban history which he calls "regional history."
His main written works and compilations include: Illustrations of Japanese Urban History (University of Tokyo Press), Cities, Architecture, and History Series (10 volumes) (ibid), Traditional Cities (4 volumes) (ibid, Architectural Institute of Japan Award), History of Urban Spaces (Yoshikawa Kobunkan, Society of Architectural Historians of Japan Award), Townhouses and Townscapes (Yamakawa Shuppansha), Bastide – A New City and Architecture in Medieval France (Chuokouron Bijyutsu Publishing), Cities and Danger – Along the Water (Sayusha), If Bunkyo Ward Didn't Have the University of Tokyo (NTT Publishing), Hue – Vietnamese Castle Town and Architecture (Chuokouron Bijyutsu Publishing), among others.
Starting in Takehara, Hiroshima, Dr. Ito has conducted urban surveys, townscape preservation surveys, and cultural landscape surveys in: Yamatokoriyama, Nara; Sado, Niigata; Iida, Nagano; Hakusan, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo; Minamisenju, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo; and Shibamata, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo. He has also been involved in urban and regional surveys of locations outside of Japan: Bastide in southern France; Hue, Vietnam; Asolo, Italy; Frisia, Netherlands; Dublin, Ireland; Cuba; the Antilles islands; and Iceland. Various fields have produced many points of discussion: swampland theory, island theory, wasteland theory, endangered city theory. Dr. Ito wishes to establish a new paradigm known as "regional history" to bundle together these disparate theories.