Socio-Economic History

Vol. 66, No. 1

Atsushi HIRAMOTO
The formation of the radio receiver industry in Japan


The aim of this article is to analyse the characteristics of the early radio receiver industry in Japan. Broadcasting in Japan was started in 1925 by non-profit foundations. Unlike the U.S. and the U.K., therefore, it had no links with the receiver manufacturing industry. However, as the beginning of broadcasting caused a sharp increase in the demand for radio apparatus, many enterprises and individuals began to make receivers and other parts. While big enterprises were involved, there were also many small companies, and in addition, radio hobbyists who made their own receivers.

Japanese receivers were basically imitations of foreign products, because several big companies were technically tied up with foreign companies and small companies often imitated foreign products and sometimes even faked them. Because the consumer could not estimate exactly the contents of the radio products and preferred cheaper goods, the market was flooded with cheap but inferior goods. As a result, the influential companies, whose products were superior but more expensive, were driven out of the market. The early radio industry was then exclusively composed of small companies, which was peculiar to Japan. It means that the market of the early Japanese radio industry did not function properly.


Satoshi BABA
The annexation of Hoechst to Frankfurt: the expansion of a big city and the reorganisation of the surrounding area


The aim of this article is to investigate the expansion of Frankfurt am Main from the 1870s to the 1920s, with particular reference to the annexation of Hoechst am Main in 1928.

At the end of the nineteenth century it was the adjacent suburban communities which desired annexation with Frankfurt rather than the other way around, since they hoped to take advantage of FrankfurtÍs superior administrative services. After the turn of the century, however, annexation of smaller communities became an important prerequisite of urban planning and the attitude of Frankfurt grew more positive. This was because it needed land for public facilities, and wanted to regulate both industrial and residential development.

After World War I the state (Prussia) took the leadership in the process of annexation. While the Prussian government supported the expansion of Frankfurt, it also wished to create a balance between the financial power of the city and that of surrounding areas (Landkreis). For this reason, the state established a new district (Main-Taunus-Kreis). However, the influence of Frankfurt reached beyond the borders of Prussia, and the city planned to construct economic regions (Rhein-Main-Gebiet) in cooperation with neighboring cities which belonged to other states.


Susumu HIRAI
The lower classes and the rural social order in north west Germany during the late early modern period: a case study of the regulation of settlements in the Osnabruck region


This study of changes in the regulation and control of settlements in the village society of the Osnabruck region from 1763 to 1806 shows how the rapid growth of the lower classes influenced the rural social order of early modern Germany.

The problem of overpopulation in Osnabruck villages grew in the late eighteenth century, and the economic position of the Heuerlinge (landless tenants) deteriorated. The government of the region (Hochstift Osnabruck) thought that the Hofbesitzer (peasant farmers) should restrict the number of Heuerlinge who could reside in the Hofe (peasant farms). The Poor Laws of 1766 and, most notably, 1774 therefore obliged village communities to support, or banish, poor Heuerlinge.

In response, the Hofbesitzer as a body began to organise strict settlement control over the Heuerlinge, through both local administrative mechanisms and autonomous peasant movements. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, groups of Hofbesitzer were controlling and monitoring the influx of members of the lower classes into rural areas. This is probably how the rural social order began to evolve into its modern form.


Sayako MIKI
The English East India Company and indigenous trading systems: a case study of the grain trade in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Bengal


This article will explore the dynamism of indigenous trading systems in Bengal under colonial control through a case study of the grain trade. In 1794 the government attempted to stabilize prices and to prevent famines by establishing state-run grain storehouses, but these policies were unsuccessful. Two major factors contributed to this failure. First, the government had not fully understood the spatial geography of the Bengal grain trade; second, there was strong resistance to market intervention from native traders.

To understand the background factors that led to this failure, we need to examine the operation of the indigenous trading system which was centered on wholesale grain markets, known as ganjs. The ganjs played an important role in linking producing areas and town markets. The traders in ganjs held stores of grain in their granaries, and by using their knowledge, trade experience, information and trading networks, they controlled both prices, and supply and demand. In other words, although the expansion of Company rule brought major changes to the overall economy, indigenous trading systems adapted to the new situation and continued to play a significant economic role.