The Economic History of Japan,1600-1990: Volume 1: Emergence of Economic Society in Japan, 1600-1859

ISBN : 9780198289050

Akira Hayami; Osamu Saito; Ronald P. Toby; Akira Hayami
440 Pages
164 x 241 mm
Pub date
Jul 2004
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This multi-volume series of modern Japanese economic history encompasses both the institutional aspects of Japanese economic development, and the results of econometric and cliometric research to place the key moments of Japanese economic history in a more general context. Volume one, The Emergence of Economic Society in Japan, focuses on the period from the start of the seventeenth century, when a discernible consumer population begins to form within cities, to the 1870s when the start of rapid industrialization is witnessed. This industrialization was unique amongst non-Western countries, facilitated by the emergence of their market economy. The contributors examine the reasons for these developments, tracing the emergence of a national economy in which agricultural produce begins to be produced specifically for the purpose of sale to the newly-forming urban consumer populations, and considerations of efficiency and competition are introduced into agriculture. Seventeenth century Japan is shown to be a society that was almost immediately able to provide key components of a market economy, such as communications, transport, and currency, so that economic laws began to operate spontaneously. Following its encounters with industrialized Western powers, Japan was quick to embrace their example, and uniquely was able to rapidly industrialize. Focusing on the foundations of modernity laid in this period, the volume explores whether this was a process of 'alternative modernization' to that experienced in the West. Written by leading Japanese scholars, and available for the first time in English-translation, the contributions have been abridged and re-written for a non-Japanese readership.


Introduction: The Emergence of 'Economic Society'
1. Quantitative Aspects of the Tokugawa Economy
2. The Institutional Framework of the Tokugawa Economy
3. Foreign Trade in the Tokugawa Period, Specifically with Korea
4. Prices and Macroeconomic Dynamics
5. The Dynamics of Market Economy and Production
6. The Finance of the Tokugawa Shogunate
7. Demography and Living Standards
8. Domains and their Economic Policies
9. The Transformation Industries
10. Country Bankers in Protoindustrial Japan: The Transformation of Credit
11. The Economy on the Eve of Industrialization

About the author: 

Akira Hayami is Professor of Economics at Reitaku University, having previously held positions at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies and Keio University. His previous publications include The Historical Demography of Pre-Modern Japan (University of Tokyo Press, 2001).; Osamu Saito is Professor of Japanese and Asian Economics, and Director at the Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University. His previous publications include Asian Population History (OUP 2001) and Population and Economy: From Hunger to Modern Economic Growth (Co-edited with T. Bengtsson, OUP 2000).; Ronald P. Toby is Professor of History at the Department of History, University of Illinois. He has previously held visiting professorships at the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, and Keio University, and has lectured at the University of California, Berkeley. His previous publications include State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan: Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu (Princeton University Press, 1984).

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