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Population, Resources and Female Labor in the Raw Silk Industry of Nagano in Meiji Japan


  • Tim F. Liao

    () (Department of Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA)


Gendered realities in local regions are a prominent issue in today’s global economy. However, the process of globalization in the late-19th century already involved the local Nagano women in an indispensable role in Japan’s raw silk industry. This paper studies the interplay between population growth and relatively limited resources in Nagano vis-à-vis the demand for female labor during the Meiji era, when Japan became a major raw silk producer. The local/regional constraints in Nagano interacted with economic globalization and gave Nagano its position in the global market. Therefore, we cannot ignore the consequences of local/regional constraints and advantages in global processes on female workers. Population pressure and environmental squeeze are found to have been important forces that integrated the local and regional in the global process of industrialization and trade, and together, they produced social outcomes, such as gender hierarchies in globalization and glocalization processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim F. Liao, 2013. "Population, Resources and Female Labor in the Raw Silk Industry of Nagano in Meiji Japan," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(1), pages 1-17, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:2:y:2013:i:1:p:23-39:d:24078

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tetsuji Okazaki & Masaki Nakabayashi, 2004. ""History of Production Organizations"(in Japanese)," CIRJE J-Series CIRJE-J-120, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
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    More about this item


    regional reality; population; globalization; Meiji Era; Nagano; raw silk industry;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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