The Social and Political Impacts of Income Distribution: The Japanese Experience

  • Ryôshin Minami
  • Wenran Jiang
Part of the Studies in the Economies of East and Southeast Asia book series (SEESEA)


This chapter’s aim is to study the social and political impact of income distribution during the interwar period of Japanese history, an era characterized by dramatic changes in economy, society and politics. We argue that the worsening income inequality in Japan in this period contributed to the decline of the Taishō Democracy and the rise of militarism. Because such an interdisciplinary study has not been attempted before, it should be acknowledged that this chapters is only the first step toward a more comprehensive research effort.


Income Distribution Wage Differential Relative Deprivation Land Reform Postwar Period 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Banno, Junji (1992) ‘Semen Nippon ni okeru “Shakai Minshushugi”, “Minshu Shakaishugi”, “Kigyô Minshushugi”’ ‘Social Democracy’, ‘Democratic Socialism’ and ‘Enterprise Democracy’ in Prewar Japan), chapter 5 in Social Science Research Institute, Tokyo University (ed.), Gendai Nippon Shakai, Dai 4 Kan Rekishiteki Zentei (Contemporary Japanese Society, Vol. 4: Preconditions of History), Tokyo: Tokyo University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Dore, R.P. (1959) Land Reform in Japan, London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fei, John C. H. and Gustav Ranis (1964) Development of the Labor Surplus Economy: Theory and Policy, Homewood, IL.: Richard D. Irwin.Google Scholar
  4. Kabashima, Ikuo (1984) ‘Supportive Participation with Economic Growth: The Case of Japan’, World Politics 36 (3).Google Scholar
  5. Kabashima, Ikuo (1993) ‘Japan: There May be a Choice’, in James W. Morley (ed.), Driven by Growth: Political Change in the Asia-Pacific Region, Armonk, NY and London: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  6. Kasza, Gregory J. (1996) ‘Fascism from Above? Japan’s Kakushin Right in Comparative Perspective’, in Stein Ugelvik Larsen (ed.), Fascism Outside Europe, New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Kawagoe, Toshihiko (1993) ‘Land Reform in Postwar Japan’, in Teranishi, Juro and Yutaka Kosai (eds), The Japanese Experience of Economic Reforms, London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  8. Kayo, Nobufumi (ed.) (1977) Kaitei Nippon Nôgyô Kisotôkei (Revised Basic Statistics of Japanese Agriculture), Tokyo: Nor in Tokeikybkai.Google Scholar
  9. Kurihara, Hakuju (1961). ‘Okayama-ken Nomin-undo no Shiteki Bunseki’, (‘A Historical Analysis of Farmers’ Movement in Okayama Prefecture’), in Nomin-undoshiGoogle Scholar
  10. Kenkyokai (ed.),Nippon Nômin-undôshi (A History of Farmers’ Movements in Japan), Tokyo: Toyo Keizai Shinposha.Google Scholar
  11. Maruyama, Masao (1969) (expanded edn, Ivan Morris, ed.) Thought and Bebaviour in Modern Japanese Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Minami, Ryoshin (1973). The Turning Point in Economic Development: Japan’s Experience, Tokyo: Kinokuniya.Google Scholar
  13. Minami, Ryoshin (1994) The Economic Development of Japan: A Quantitative Study, 2nd edn, London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Minami, Ryoshin (1996) Nippon no Keizai Hatten to Shotoku Bunpu (Economic Development and Income Distribution in Japan), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  15. Minami, Ryoshin (1998) ‘Economic Development and Income Distribution in Japan: An Assessment of the Kuznets Hypothesis’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 21 (2).Google Scholar
  16. Miyamoto, Mataro and Kozo Yamamura (1981) ‘Ryotaisen-kanki Kosaku Sogi no Snryo Bunseki he no Ichishiron’ (An Attempt on Quantitative Analysis of Tenancy Disputes in Interwar Japan’), in Takafusa Nakamura (ed.), Senkanki no NipponGoogle Scholar
  17. Keizai Bunseki (Analyses of Japanese Economy in the Interwar Period), Tokyo: Yamakawa Shuppansha.Google Scholar
  18. Moore, Barrington (1966) Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World, Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  19. Murakami, Yasusuke (1984) Shin-chûkan Taishû no Jidai (The Era of New Middle Mass), Tokyo: Chno Kbronsha.Google Scholar
  20. Nakamura, Masanori (1976) ‘Dai-kybkb to Noson Mondai’ (‘Great Depression and the Agrarian Problem’), in Nippon Rekishi 19, Kindai 6 (Japanese History 19, Modern Period 6), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  21. Nakamura, Masanori (1979) Kindai Nippon Jinushisei-shi Kenkyû (A Study of the Modern History of the Japanese Landlord System) Tokyo: Tokyo University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Nakamura, Masanori(1993) Keizai Hatten to Minshushugi (Economic Development and Democracy), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  23. Nakamura, Masanori (1995) ‘Meijiishin to Sengo Kaikaku’ (Meiji Restoration and Postwar Reforms’), in Masanori Nakamura et al. (eds), Sengo Minshushugi (Postwar Democracy), Sengo Nippon: Senryô to Sengo Kaikaku Dai-4-Kan (Postwar Japan: Occupation and Postwar Reforms, Vol.4), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  24. Nakanishi, Yoshiharu (1982) ‘Kokka Kaizo Undo: Minshnkan to Kaizo Undbkan’ (The National Reorganization Movement: The Popular View and the View of the Movement’), in Masanao Kano and Masaomi Yui (eds), Kindai Nippon no Tôgô to Teikô 4: 1931 Nen kara 1945 Nen made (Integration and Resistance 4: From 1931 to 1945), Tokyo: Nippon Hybronsha.Google Scholar
  25. Naniwada, Haruo (1982). Kindai Nippon Shakai Keizai Shisôshi (History of Social and Economic Thoughts in Modern Japan), Naniwada Haruo Chosakushn 7 (Collection of Haruo Naniwada, 7), Tokyo: Waseda Daigaku Shuppanbu.Google Scholar
  26. Nishida, Yoshiaki (1975) ‘Nômin-undo no Hatten to Jinushisei’ (‘The Development of Peasant Movements and the Landlord System’), in Nippon Rekishi 18, Kindai 5 (Japanese History, 18, Modern Period 5), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.Google Scholar
  27. Ogura, Takekazu (1967). Agrarian Problems and Agricultural Policy in Japan: A Historical Sketch, Tokyo: Institute of Asian Economic Affairs.Google Scholar
  28. Ohkawa, Kazushi and Henry Rosovsky (1973) Japanese Economic Growth: Trend Acceleration in the Twentieth Century, Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Okhawa, Kazushi et al. (1967) Bukka (Price) [Chôki Keizai Tôkei: Suikei to Bunseki 8 (Estimates of Long-term Economic Statistics of Japan since 1868–8)], Tokyo: Tôyô Keizai Shinpôsha.Google Scholar
  30. Otsuki, Toshiyuki and Nobukiyo Takamatsu (1982) ‘On the Measurement and Trend of Income Inequality in Prewar Japan’, Papers and Proceedings of the Conference on Japan’s Historical Development Experience and the Contemporary Developing Coun-tries, Tokyo: International Development Center of Japan.Google Scholar
  31. Ouchi, Tsutomu (1984), Fashizumu eno Michi (The Way to Fascism) Tokyo: Chaókoron Sha.Google Scholar
  32. Smethurst, Richard J. (1995). ‘Japan’s First Experiment with Democracy, 1868–1940’, in George Reid Andrews and Herrick Chapman (eds), The Social Construction of Democracy, 1870–1990, London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  33. Somu-cho Tôkeikyoku (Bureau of Statistics, Management and Coordination Agency) (1987) Nippon Chôki Tôkei S5ran, Dai 1Kan (Historical Statistics of Japan, Vol. 1), Tokyo: Nippon Tôkei-kyôkai.Google Scholar
  34. Tominaga, Ken’ ichi (1990) Nippon no Kindaika to Shakai Hendô: Tôbingen Kôgi (Modernization and Social Change in Japan: Tübingen Lectures), Tokyo: Kodansha.Google Scholar
  35. Umemura, Mataji et al. (1966). Noringyô (Agriculture and Forestry) Chôki Keizai kei: Suikei to Bunseki 9 (Estimates of Long-term Economic Statistics of Japan since 1968–9), Tokyo: Tbyô Keizai Shinpôsha.Google Scholar
  36. Vanhanen, Tatu (1990). The Process of Democratization: A Comparative Study of 147 States, 1980–88, New York: Crane Russak.Google Scholar
  37. Yamaguchi, Yasushi (1979) Fashizumu (Fascism), Tokyo: Yühikaku.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ryōshin Minami and Wenran Jiang 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryôshin Minami
  • Wenran Jiang

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations