Conclusion: Historical Reflections on Japan’s Industrialization

  • Akira Hayami
Part of the Studies in Economic History book series (SEH)


The discussions in the previous chapters make it clear that during the Edo Period it is possible to find preparatory signs of modern society and hence a historical continuity. However, the Edo Period was not a modern society. What triggered the transformations was the collection by the samurai of nengu from the peasantry, and this was one type of revenue economy (Hicks 1969, pp. 22–24). In other words, it was an economy where the movement of goods and currency arose because of differences in status: people with political authority imposed nengu obligations on the ruled. As long as this existed, the Edo Period was not a modern society. Peasants’ nengu obligation was substantially different from our modern tax payment.


Family System Labor Productivity Growth Business Corporation Tenant Farmer Continental European Country 
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  1. Hicks JR (1969) A theory of economic history. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Hayami
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Japan AcademyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Keio UniversityTokyoJapan

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