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By Morris-Suzuki

Economics, within the glossy feel of the be aware, used to be brought into Japan within the moment 1/2 the 19th century. in spite of the fact that, jap thinkers had already constructed, through the 17th and eighteenth centuries, a number of attention-grabbing ways to concerns similar to the motives of inflation, the worth of alternate, and the position of the nation in financial job. Tessa Morris-Suzuki offers the 1st finished English language survey of the advance of financial concept in Japan. She considers how the research of neo-classical and Keynesian economics used to be given new impetus through Japan's 'economic miracle' whereas Marxist notion, relatively good confirmed in Japan, used to be constructing alongside strains which are basically now starting to be well-known via the West. She concludes with an exam of the unconventional rethinking of basic monetary concept presently occuring in Japan and descriptions a few of the interesting new methods that are rising from this 'shaking of the principles.

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Additional resources for A History of Japanese Economic Thought (Nissan Institute Routledge Japanese Studies Series)

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Law of Cost of Production. Law of Utility. Law of Labour in things. There are many such assertions. But they are valueless and the real use of Pol. Econo. is to find out certain forces which are really acting actually. (quoted in Sugihara 1980:52–3) Despite hesitant beginnings, however, Tokyo University’s economics department was by the end of the century nurturing scholars who were to make significant and original contributions to modern Japanese thought. In addition to the government-financed Imperial Universities of Tokyo and Kyoto (the latter established in 1897), a number of private colleges also played a crucial role in the dissemination of Western economic thought.

Yokoi 1971b:433) In order to finance these projects, Shōnan advocated that the government should pursue an expansionary monetary policy. This was justified by a rather naïve vision of an unlimited overseas market for Japanese goods, and a somewhat limited understanding of the effects of monetary expansion on the domestic economy. Let us explain this with an example. Suppose the government prints 10,000 ryō in paper money and lends it to the people for silk production. The 36 A HISTORY OF JAPANESE ECONOMIC THOUGHT Domain government then collects the silk thread which they produce, takes it to the port, and sells it to western merchants for about 11,000 ryō in gold coin.

The Opium War of 1840–2 and its disastrous consequences for China were reported and debated in Japan, and from that time on the unwelcome appearance of foreign ships off the Japanese coast became an increasingly common occurrence. A vessel called at Nagasaki in 1846, two American ships visited Uraga in the same year, and a British boat stopped at Shimoda in 1848. It was, however, the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853, with his flotilla of four ships (two of them steam-powered) and his formal message from the president of the United States, which presented the shogunate with a foreign ECONOMIC THOUGHT IN TOKUGAWA JAPAN 33 challenge that could not be ignored.

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