79, No. 1
Satoru NAKANISHI, Profit structure of the House of Oguri Saburo (the Mansan Company) and the local economy
In this paper, I discuss the relationship between the House of Oguri Saburo, a leading wealthy businessman in the Handa area of Chita-gun, Aichi Prefecture, and the boom in the establishment of the companies in rural Japan from the viewpoint of investment in negotiable securities. The House of Oguri actively participated in the establishment and management of the Chita Spinning Company in the latter part of the 1890s. However, the house concentrated on trade of fertilizer and the production of soy sauce brewing after the Chita Spinning Company merged with another large spinning company located in another area in 1907. At that time, it appears that the House of Oguri worked successfully with several banks and tried to borrow funds for their business under more advantageous conditions. Under those circumstances, the house expanded the scale of its business through the 1910s and increased its profits. However, the house placed its profits into bank time deposits, and during World War I it did not make many stock investments. After 1919, the House of Oguri began to make more investments in public and private bonds. As for negotiable securities investment, there was a marked intention to avoid risk and the house actively infused its own family business with that capital.
Daisuke ICHIKAWA, Fertilizer manufacture and the expansion of the Mansan Company’s sales network
This paper analyzes the commercial history of the Mansan fertilizer company from the 1900s through the 1910s. In the 1900s, Mansan purchased fish fertilizer from merchants in Hokkaido for sale in the Mikawa area, Aichi Prefecture. It also purchased imported bean cake from importers in Kobe for sale in Mikawa. In the 1910s, Mansan began producing bean cake at its own factory. Simultaneously, the company shifted the target of its sales from Mikawa to the more distant markets in Nagano and Niigata Prefectures; this shift in strategy helped lead to a rapid growth in sales. The overall success of the company during this period can be attributed to four reasons. First, the growing sericulture industry increased the demand for fertilizer. Second, the completion of the Chuo Line Railway in 1911 decreased delivery times. Third, Mansan expanded its customer base by subsuming the sales channels of one of its rivals—the Iguchi Company—after Iguchi went out of business in 1910. Fourth, rather than directly importing soybeans from Manchuria, Mansan used large-lot pre-order contracts to effectively lock-in input prices and minimize the risk of fluctuations in the soybean spot market.
Shigehiko IOKU, Soy sauce brewing management and the sales strategy of the Mansan Company
This paper considers the soy sauce manufacturing of the Mansan Company, focusing on sales activities. During the two decades beginning in the 1890s, when Rikichi Imoto was active in the sales division, the company expanded its market from Kansai to Kanto, pioneering new markets for specific products. Later the company came to focus its marketing efforts in two regions: the first included nearby markets in Aichi and Gifu Prefectures, and the second, markets serviced by a sales office located in Otsu in Shiga Prefecture. Tamari was the chief product sold in the nearby markets, regular soy sauce in the latter region. Mansan’s outlet in Otsu, which exclusively dealt in its products, was assigned the task of finding market niches in the potential large urban markets. The success of this strategy was a major factor in stabilizing the company and supporting its development. This strategy—which was the result of trial and error—may be representative of the efforts of soy sauce manufacturers in late developing regions. The focus on marketing rather than transport stands in contrast to the strategy of Osaka based merchants, and may be characteristic of merchants that have their own production facilities.
Mari OMINE, The maritime trade of Nantes in the early eighteenth century: based on the “armement” historical documents
Nantes, the first port of the French slave trade in the eighteenth century, was one of the leading international commercial cities of the kingdom. A 1969 article by Jean Meyer used the rôle des classes (register of sailors), which is now classified as armement (declaration of ship outfitting) to analyze late eighteenth century trade, showing the development of the slave trade, the stable growth of the European coastal trade and the direct trade with Antilles. Later scholars have followed Meyer’s interpretation, and have also listened to his warning that a serious lack of records for the early eighteenth century limited the possibilities for research on that earlier period. This paper aims to fill in that gap in our understanding of the trade history of Nantes by quantifying and analyzing records in the Directory of Declaration of Ship Outfitting 1694-1744, held in the Departmental Archives of Loire-Atlantique. The results of my analysis clarify the central sphere of maritime trade by Nantes in the first half of the eighteenth century and suggest prospects for future historical study.
Nobuyuki KATO, Introduction of sericulture regulations during the middle Meiji period and the development of sericulture in the Kansai region
Kanji Ishii suggested that sericulture arose autonomously in the Kansai region after the 1900s. This paper presents a counterview, arguing that sericulture developed in the region through organized efforts to establish necessary and beneficial regulations.
Sericulturists in Kansai and other economically struggling regions campaigned for regulations to improve the practice of sericulture, such as the increased scrutiny of silkworm-egg cards and strengthening of professional sericulture associations. Their efforts merged into Masana Maeda’s campaign for economic development during the period, which ultimately succeeded in 1897. In addition, sericulturists in the Kansai region petitioned successfully to export silk yarns from Kobe Port. Regulations introduced as a result of this campaign enabled Kansai sericulture to produce high quality silk yarns. For example, silkworm-egg cards were improved and the economic rationalization of sericulture associations assured Kansai filatures a reliable source of cocoons locally.
Hiroki MIGITA, Reconsideration of contemporary meanings in souvenirs of modern Japan’s imperial festivals viewed through people’s experiences
How are we to comprehend the historical and social significance of mass-produced souvenirs from Japan’s Imperial festivals in the early 20th century? The purpose of this paper is to reconsider this question from the viewpoint of contemporary popular collective experiences and meanings.
This paper, which takes the enthronement ceremony of the Showa Emperor as a case study, focuses on three points. First, social demands for souvenirs of Imperial festivals were not generated from popular nationalistic or religious motives, but from private and secular desires. Second, representations of the Imperial Family on such souvenirs often functioned socially as symbols that legitimized the people’s indulgence in consumption. Third, the flood of mass-produced souvenirs at Imperial festivals provided people with an opportunity to exercise private desires for consumption in a way that was temporarily socially approved. By identifying positively these three points through research about people’s attitudes toward souvenirs and advertisements during the Showa Grand Ceremony of Accession, this paper presents an interpretation of the social meanings and functions of Imperial Festival souvenirs in modern Japan from a cultural-historical point of view.