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"Product Organization and its Social Foundation --With Special Reference to the Toy Industry in Pre-war Japan--" (in Japanese)

Listed author(s):
  • Masayuki Tanimoto

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)

The aim of this paper is to make clear the role of small manufacturing firms in Japanese industrialization. Small manufacturing firms provided more than half of the employment opportunities in urban manufacturing sectors during inter-war period. Toy industry was typical small firm industry and one of the growing industries in this period. The reason of the growth of this industry could be explained by the function of a certain product organization which could connect the market demand with small firms which were able to provide goods in low price. In this organization, one of the main actors was wholesale merchants which gathered the market information and provided specially related small firms with it. But the most important point of this organization was the reproduction of small firms. Their low cost production was based on the family labor and apprentices. The role of the apprentice system was not only providing with cheap labor, but also reproducing trained labor. Inauguration by the trained workers, and utilizing family labor was the critical point of this organization. In this sense, the production organization was based on a social foundation which encourage the reproduction of small firms.

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Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE J-Series with number CIRJE-J-75.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: May 2002
Handle: RePEc:tky:jseres:2002cj75
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