Economic and Demographic Change in Preindustrial Japan, 1600-1868

Princeton University Press
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According to the Marxist interpretation still dominant in Japanese studies, the last century and a half of the Tokugawa period was a time of economic and demographic stagnation. Professors Hanley and Yamamura argue that a more satisfactory explanation can be provided within the framework of modem economic theory, and they advance and test three important new hypotheses in this book.

The authors suggest that the Japanese economy grew throughout the Tokugawa period, though slowly by modern standards and unevenly. This growth, they show, tended to exceed the rate of population increase even in the poorer regions, thus raising the living standard despite major famines. Population growth was controlled by a variety of methods, including abortion and infanticide, for the primary purpose of raising the standard of living.

Contrary to the prevailing view of scholars, thus, the conclusions advanced here indicate that the basis for Japan's rapid industrialization in the Meiji period was in many ways already established during the latter part of the Tokugawa period. The authors' analysis combines original fieldwork with study of data based on findings of the postwar years.

Originally published in 1978.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 8, 2015
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Pages
426
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ISBN
9781400869374
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
History / Asia / Japan
Political Science / World / Asian
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Japan is one of the world's wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations, and its rapid ascent to global power status after 1853 remains one of the most remarkable stories in modern world history. Yet it has not been an easy path; military catastrophe, political atrophy, and economic upheavals have made regular appearances from the feudal era to the present. Today, Japan is seen as a has-been with a sluggish economy, an aging population, dysfunctional politics, and a business landscape dominated by yesterday's champions. Though it is supposed to be America's strongest ally in the Asia-Pacific region, it has almost entirely disappeared from the American radar screen. In Japan and the Shackles of the Past, R. Taggart Murphy places the current troubles of Japan in a sweeping historical context, moving deftly from early feudal times to the modern age that began with the Meiji Restoration. Combining fascinating analyses of Japanese culture and society over the centuries with hard-headed accounts of Japan's numerous political regimes, Murphy not only reshapes our understanding of Japanese history, but of Japan's place in the contemporary world. He concedes that Japan has indeed been out of sight and out of mind in recent decades, but contends that this is already changing. Political and economic developments in Japan today risk upheaval in the pivotal arena of Northeast Asia, inviting comparisons with Europe on the eve of the First World War. America's half-completed effort to remake Japan in the late 1940s is unraveling, and the American foreign policy and defense establishment is directly culpable for what has happened. The one apparent exception to Japan's malaise is the vitality of its pop culture, but it's actually no exception at all; rather, it provides critical clues to what is going on now. With insights into everything from Japan's politics and economics to the texture of daily life, gender relations, the changing business landscape, and popular and high culture, Japan and the Shackles of the Past is the indispensable guide to understanding Japan in all its complexity.
The sixth and final volume in the series published for the Conference on Modern Japan reviews the political, economic and foreign policy problems faced by Japan during the 1930's and '40's. James Morley's introductory chapter, "Choice and Consequence," and Edwin O. Reisehauer's conclusion. "What Went Wrong?" define the context of the discussion.

Contents: "Foreword," John Whitney Hall. 1. "Introduction: Choice and Consequence," James William Morley. PART ONE: Political and Military. II. "The Bureaucracy as a Political Force, 1920-45," Robert M. Spaulding, Jr. III. "Retrogression in Japan's Foreign Policy Decision-Making Process," Chihiro Hosoya. IV. "The Failure of Military Expansionism," Akira Iriye. V. "The Radical Left and the Failure of Communism," George M. Beekmann. PART TWO: Economic and Social. VI. "Rural Origins of Japanese Fascism," R. P. Dore and Tsutomu Ouchi. VII. "The Economic Muddle of the 192O's," Hugh I. Patrick. VIII. "Big Business and Politics in Prewar Japan," Arthur E. Tiedemann. PAKT THREE: Intellectual. IX. "Intellectuals as Visionaries of the New Asian Order," James B. Crowley. X. "Nakano Seigo and the Spirit of the Meiji Restoration in Twentieth- Century Japan," Tetsuo Najita. XI. "Oyama Ikuo and the Search for Democracy," Peter Duus. PART FOUR: Comparisons and Conclusions. XII. "Japan and Germany in the Interwar Period," Kentaro Hayashi. XIII. "What Went Wrong?" Edwin O. Reischauer. Index.

Originally published in 1972.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Advanced industrial nations face many difficult political and economic problems due to the accelerating pace and evolving character of technological change. In this volume, economists and political scientists discuss analytic and policy issues relating to the current state of technological capability in the United States, Japan, and Western Germany from a historical perspective and as a basis for future technological development. They also examine the problems and the issues involved in competition and cooperation among high technology firms and in evolving a more harmonious trade regime.

The essays presented here explore from an international perspective the theoretical underpinnings of policy issues that are shaped by increasing internations competition and by the changing form and character of the international trade regime. Issues are discussed against the background of declining American technological dominance and intensifying competition as well as increasing international cooperation among high technology firms.

Specific topics include the internationalization of basic research; the closing gap between basic and applied research; the effect of nation specific interfirm relations and various characteristics of labor markets on technological progress; and the effectiveness of various forms of government research and development assistance (or, more broadly, industrial policy). Three essays present overviews of the technological capability of and major policy issues faced by the United States, Japan, and Western Germany. Others raise major theoretical and policy issues from the perspectives of political science and economics, and address specific policy issues or groups of related issues.

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