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Palgrave Studies in Economic History

Confucian Capitalism

Shibusawa Eiichi, Business Ethics, and Economic Development in Meiji Japan

Authors: Sagers, John

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    • Makes a unique contribution to Asian business history and the history of capitalism
    • Examines Shibusawa Eiichi's important work as a philanthropist, educator, and opinion maker who continues to have an impact on ideas about business ethics in Japan today
    • Analyses Shibusawa's vision of Confucian capitalism 
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eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76372-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76371-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-09474-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

With the life story of Shibusawa Eiichi (1840–1931), one of the most important financiers and industrialists in modern Japanese history, as its narrative focal point, this book explores the challenges of importing modern business enterprises to Japan, where the pursuit of profit was considered beneath the dignity of the samurai elite. Seeking to overturn the Tokugawa samurai-dominated political economy after the Meiji Restoration, Shibusawa was a pioneer in introducing  joint-stock corporations to Japan as institutions of economic development. As the entrepreneurial head of Tokyo’s Dai-Ichi Bank, he helped launch modern enterprises in such diverse industries as banking, shipping, textiles, paper, beer, and railroads. Believing businesses should be both successful and serve the national interest, Shibusawa regularly cautioned against the pursuit of profit alone. He insisted instead on the ‘unity of morality and economy’ following business ethics derived from the Confucian Analects. A top leader in Japan’s business community for decades, Shibusawa contributed to founding the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce, and numerous educational and philanthropic organizations to promote his vision of Confucian capitalism.

This volume marks an important contribution to the international debate on the extent to which capitalist enterprises have a responsibility to serve and benefit the societies in which they do business. Shibusawa's story demonstrates that business, government, trade associations, and educational institutions all have valuable roles to play in establishing a political economy that is both productive and humane.

About the authors

John H. Sagers is Professor of East Asian History at Linfield College, USA. He received his PhD in history from the University of Washington, USA; was a Fulbright Fellow at Rikkyo University, Japan; and held a Japan Foundation Fellowship. In 2006, he published his first book Origins of Japanese Wealth and Power: Reconciling Confucianism and Capitalism, 1830–1885 with Palgrave Macmillan.

Reviews

“Shibusawa’s enormous contribution to the economic success story of Meiji Japan, Sagers argues, was not primarily based on business interests but on mutual trust and on the time-honored values of moral commitment. These key attributes of the business ethics promoted by Shibusawa, which paid heed to the importance of social harmony, deserve the attention of the readers of the twenty-first century as well: in particular those with keen interest in East Asian religions.” (Lehel Balogh, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 45 (2), June, 2019)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)
  • Introduction: Shibusawa Eiichi and the Idea of Confucian Capitalism

    Pages 1-18

    Sagers, John H.

  • Economic Change and Intellectual Innovation in Tokugawa Japan

    Pages 19-50

    Sagers, John H.

  • Government Bureaucrats and Capitalist Institutions in 1870s Japan

    Pages 51-83

    Sagers, John H.

  • The Ethical Entrepreneur as a Servant of Japan’s National Interest

    Pages 85-117

    Sagers, John H.

  • Competing Priorities of Infrastructure Investment and Military Expansion in Late Meiji Japan

    Pages 119-150

    Sagers, John H.

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76372-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76371-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $139.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-09474-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Confucian Capitalism
Book Subtitle
Shibusawa Eiichi, Business Ethics, and Economic Development in Meiji Japan
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Economic History
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-76372-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-76372-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-76371-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-09474-4
Series ISSN
2662-6497
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 245
Number of Illustrations
13 b/w illustrations, 2 illustrations in colour
Topics