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  • Masayuki Tanimoto (a1)

This study aims to discuss the significant role of “peasant society” in understanding the economic history of both modern and early modern Japan.

Independent peasant households proliferated in Japan in the seventeenth century, and from around the turn of the eighteenth century onwards they underwent a transformation into entities called ie, which owned family properties and bore responsibility for conveying these properties to the next generation. Although the development of the market economy also contributed to maintaining and activating the peasant society, the function of the labour market was strongly influenced by the strategy of peasant households to pursue the optimal utilization of slack labour generated by the seasonally fluctuating labour demand from agriculture. Under these constraints, peasant households tended to deliver non-agricultural employment opportunities to their members, forming a kind of barrier against mobilizing family workers outside the household. These barriers were supported by region-based industrial development such as a weaving industry adopting the putting-out system most suitable to the requirements of peasant households. Rural-based capital accumulation together with the workings of the regional financial markets contributed to maintaining particular peasant household behaviours by supporting region-based industrial development, which featured in Japan's path of economic and social development from the early modern to the modern period.

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Tanimoto 2016 Tanimoto, Masayuki 谷本 雅之. “Nichijōseikatsu ni okeru kajirōdō no yakuwari: mōhitotsu no shōhishi to shite 日常生活における家事労働の役割―もう一つの消費史として (The Role of Housework in Everyday Life: Another Aspect of Consumption in Modern Japan).” In Rekishi nonakano Shōhisha: Nihon ni okeru Shōhi to Kurashi 1850–2000 歴史の中の消費者―日本における消費と暮らし 1850–2000 (The Historical Consumer: Consumption and Everyday Life in Japan, 1850–2000), eds. Francks, Penelope ペネロピ・フランクス and Hunter, Janet ジャネット・ハンター. Tokyo: Hosei Daigaku Shuppankyoku, 2016.
Tanimoto 2013 Tanimoto, Masayuki. “From Peasant Economy to Urban Agglomeration: the Transformation of ‘Labour-Intensive Industrialization’ in Modern Japan.” In Labour-intensive Industrialization in Global History, eds. Austin, Gareth and Sugihara, Kaoru. Abingdon: Routledge, 2013.
Tanimoto 2012 Tanimoto, Masayuki.The Role of Housework in Everyday Life: Another Aspect of Consumption in Modern Japan.” In The Historical Consumer: Consumption and Everyday Life in Japan, 1850–2000, eds. Francks, Penelope and Hunter, Janet. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Tanimoto 2009 Tanimoto, Masayuki.Cotton and the Peasant Economy: Foreign Fibre in Early Modern Japan.” In The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton Textile 1200–1850, eds. Riello, Giorgio and Parthasarathi, Prasannan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Tanimoto 2006a Tanimoto, Masayuki.The Role of Tradition in Japan's Industrialization: Another Path to Industrialization.” in The Role of Tradition in Japan's Industrialization, ed. Tanimoto, Masayuki. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
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International Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 1479-5914
  • EISSN: 1479-5922
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