From its beginning Japanese industry was marked by a scattering of large and heavily capitalized enterprises which, as their size and number increased between 1890 and 1920, became the scene of labor unrest. In historical accounts of this early period of labor relations, workers are strangely shadowy figures, considering their centrality. They come into focus mainly at moments of crisis when they are seen to be overcoming their past, increasing their consciousness both of rights and of the need for organization and class solidarity. This developing consciousness issued at last in a sudden growth of unions between 1918 and the mid-1920s. Even before this time, however, because of fear of unions and government intervention and the need to reduce the amount of labor turnover, management had begun efforts to bring workers under greater psychological control. These efforts were now intensified, and the measures adopted—welfare services, greater security of employment, semiannual bonuses, separation pay, regular raises, factory committees—aided by a stagnant economy and unemployment throughout the 1920s, were spectacularly successful. By the early 1930s the unions were everywhere in retreat from large enterprises. The victory over worker consciousness seemed won and in fact held until 1945, when, in the aftermath of national defeat, the struggle was renewed.