Contemporary Economic Systems: A Regional and Country Approach

By Nicholas V. Gianaris | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7 Japan: A Miracle Economy

HISTORICAL ROOTS OF DISCIPLINE AND EFFICIENCY

Before the middle of the nineteenth century, Japan was an isolated feudal society. Commodore Perry, with his powerful fleet, arrived and opened up Japan in 1853 and limited trade with other nations began thereafter. During the period of the Tokugawa regime, a hereditary military dictatorship ( 1603-1868), transactions in silver and gold were conducted mainly with the coast cities of China. At that time, Confucianism, extolling the virtues of discipline, propriety and knowledge, was promoted. To keep the other feudal nobles (the daimyo) under control, the Tokugawa nobles (about 300) introduced the system of double residence. The households and professional warriors, used as personal armies of samurai (another ruling class), were kept at the imperial capital as residents for alternate years. An efficient network of transportation and communications and capitalistic institutions was developed as a result of the required movements of retinues and retainers from the countryside to the capital and vice versa. This was the early stage of capitalism as an advancement from feudalism.

After the overthrow of the military dictatorship and the restoration of the Meiji monarchy ( 1869), the Japanese government removed the power of the daimyo, taxed merchants passing through their lands, and removed export restrictions. A similar phenomenon occurred in the German Zollverein (customs union), which helped the unification of Germany at that time. At the same time, pensions were granted to the two ruling classes (daimyo and samurai) mainly in government bonds with diminishing value because of inflation. This in turn reduced the influence of these old powerful classes.

An island nation, Japan was isolated during the period of seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. Present-day hierarchical structure in the system of production has its roots in the feudal period, particularly in the institutional changes

-89-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Contemporary Economic Systems: A Regional and Country Approach
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 198

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?