Government Bureaucrats and Capitalist Institutions in 1870s Japan

  • John H. Sagers
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


This chapter focuses on Shibusawa Eiichi’s work as an official in the Meiji government from 1869 to 1873 where he played a critical role in laying the groundwork for tax, currency, and industrial promotion policies as well as other institutions for economic development. As a government official, Shibusawa’s ideas of Confucian capitalism evolved as he explored institutions of Western market capitalism as the means to the Confucian ends of a stronger state and more prosperous people. Shibusawa’s own narrative of his departure from government to head the new Dai-Ichi Bank characterized this move as a sharp break with official life motivated by a strong desire to work in the private sector to elevate the status of commerce and industry in Japanese society.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Sagers
    • 1
  1. 1.Linfield CollegeMcMinnvilleUSA

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