Book Announcement: The Economic and Business History of Occupied Japan

The Economic and Business History of Occupied Japan: New Perspectives

Edited by Thomas French.

Routledge, 2018.

From the publisher’s website:

About the Book

The Occupation era (1945-1952) witnessed major change in Japan and the beginnings of its growth from of the ashes of defeat towards its status as a developmental model for much of the world. The period arguably saw the sowing of the seeds of the post-war flowering of what some term the ‘post-war Japanese economic miracle’. However, some scholars dispute this position and argue that the Occupation’s policies and impacts actually hindered Japan’s recovery. This volume addresses this question and others surrounding the business and economic history of this crucial period.

This chapters presented in The Economic and Business History of Occupied Japan are authored by major scholars of the Occupation from the US, Japan and Europe. The chapters are divided into three sections: Planning, Reform and Recovery, Industries Under Occupation, and Legacies of the Occupation era. Following an introduction and focusing on the historiographical background, the first section, examines Zaibatsu Dissolution and its significance, the role of Japanese businessmen within the Occupation’s reforms, the crucial impact of Japan’s post-war Materials Crisis, and finally, the impact of reform at the local level in Hokkaido. Part two looks at a number of individual industries and their development during the era, including the fishing, automotive and cotton spinning industry. The final section looks at the human impact of the changes of the initial post-war years, including the reintegration of repatriates into the Japanese labour force, and the impact of changing working patterns on society and family life.

This book covers an under-examined period of the economic and business history of Japan and presents numerous new approaches and original contributions to the scholarship of the Occupation era. It will be of interest to scholars of modern Japan, economic history, business history, development studies and post-war US-Japan relations.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Thomas French

Part 1: Planning, Reform, and Recovery

*Japanese Agency and Business Reform in Occupied Japan: The Holding Company Liquidation Commission and Zaibatsu Dissolution – Steven J. Ericson
*Japan’s Postwar Social Metabolic Crisis – Mark Metzler
*The Role of the Frontier: GHQ/SCAP Economic Policies and Hokkaidō – Juha Saunavaara

Part 2: Industries under Occupation

*An Empire Reborn: The Japanese Fishing Industry during the Occupation – William M. Tsutsui
*Fiats and Jeeps: The Occupation, Jeeps, and the Postwar Automotive Industry
*The Japanese Cotton Spinning Industry and Economic Recovery under SCAP – Takahiro Ohata

Part 3: Socioeconomic Changes in the Occupation Era

*The Economic Reintegration of Former Colonial Residents in Postwar Japan – Steven Ivings
*Good Wife, Wise Mother and Americanised Consumer: The Forced Social Democratisation of the Private Sphere in Occupied Japan – Zsombor Rajkai

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I have been fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to live in Okinawa for six months in 2016-17, and in mainland Japan on multiple occasions, including from Sept 2019 to now.
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