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The Origins of Japanese Trade Supremacy

Development and Technology in Asia from 1540 to the Pacific War

Synthesizing a wide range of scholarship Christopher Howe traces the history of Japanese trade over four centuries and locates the sources of Japan’s current commercial and financial strength in events that began in the sixteenth century.

"Thoughtful, well-organized, and lucidly written and reflects many years of painstaking research in different literatures."—Business Horizons

"The best analysis yet in English of the role of technology in Japan’s emergence as a global economic power."—David J. Jeremy, Technology and Culture

"An important addition to Japanese economic history and the concept of creating relative advantage in trade."—Richard Rice, Journal of Asian Studies

"No other work in English approaches Christopher Howe’s combination of a sweeping historical perspective with a comprehensive yet in-depth analysis of factors underlying Japan’s pre-1940 economic ’miracle.’ . . . [An] illuminating study."—Steven J. Ericson, American Historical Review

499 pages | 20 halftones, 33 line drawings | 5-1/2 x 8-1/2 | © 1995

Asian Studies: East Asia

Economics and Business: Economics--History, Economics--International and Comparative

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Note on romanisation, names and footnotes
1: The Japanese Trading World before 1853 and the First Cycle of Contact
with Europeans
2: The West and Japan before the Opening of the Ports
3: Kaikoku: The Opening of Japan, 1853-1867
4: Early Meiji Modernisation and the Development of the Traditional Export
Sector
5: Growth and Transformation in Japan’s Trade Payments, 1890-1937
6: The Role of Public Policy
7: The Response of the Private Sector: the Foundations of the Cotton
Textiles Industry
8: The Achievement of International Competitiveness in Cotton Textiles,
1914-1937
9: Building the Technological Infrastructure
10: Technology and Trade in the Strategic Industries
11: Technology and Trade in the Commercial Sector
12: The Imperial Background and the Case of Taiwan
13: The Economic Expansion of Japan in Manchuria
14: Japan’s Trade and Direct Investment in the Chinese Textile Industry:
The Elements of an Alternative Model
15: Conclusions
Select Bibliography
Index

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