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"Urban Small Businesses in the Inter-War Period: A Case of Tokyo Prefecture"(in Japanese)


  • Masayuki Tanimoto

    (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)


This paper explores the "indigenous development" process in the Inter-War period of Japan. Typical indigenous development process can be seen in the development of rural weaving industry before the World War I. There functioned the production form besides factory such as putting-out system based on the peasant's sideline work. After the World War I, however, putting-out system in the weaving industry rapidly gave way to factory system that equipped the power looms. Contrastively, the industrial development in Tokyo during Inter-War period entailed the increase of newly formed petty and small workshops. There functioned the production system based on the complex transaction of merchants, factories, small workshops and domestic works. Among these actors, small workshops that had a certain level of skill for processing played a significant role to maintain this production system. The reproduction of these skills was preserved by the quasi-apprentice system within the workshops. Although the comparatively low wage in these workshops, the expectation to start up the own workshop after trained in the workshop attracted the juveniles. There existed the organizers (merchants) transferring market information to the manufacturing spot on one hand, and the reproduction of low cost workshops preparing a certain level of skills on the other hand. Being combined these two actors together and utilized the favorable urban environment such as integration of related industries and technologies, concentration of unskilled labour migrated from rural areas, the non-factory production system, which got into the phase of decline in the countryside, activated in urban areas after the World War I.

Suggested Citation

  • Masayuki Tanimoto, 2004. ""Urban Small Businesses in the Inter-War Period: A Case of Tokyo Prefecture"(in Japanese)," CIRJE J-Series CIRJE-J-109, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:jseres:2004cj109

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