Socio-Economic History

Vol. 79, No. 2

Daisuke AWAKURA, Tea export from Shimizu Port to Yokohama and the role of Shimizu Kaisen Doiya in the early Meiji period

This essay analyzes the export of tea from Shimizu Port to Yokohama in the early Meiji period and the role of Shimizu Kaisen Doiya, a forwarding agent. At the time, Shimizu Kaisen Doiya in Shimizu Port oversaw port operations such as cargo handling. The essay’s discussion aims to shed light on the significance of commodity distribution and the realities of Shimizu Port in the early Meiji period.
The analysis of this essay clarifies several points such as the fact that Shimizu port was nationally recognized as a leading center for the export of tea; Shimizu Kaisen Doiya and a Yokohama forwarding agent were both shareholders of Seiryusha, the shipping company that took on the cargo. It’s role in the tea trade made Shimizu Port a point of origin for the Yokohama imported goods market, and Shimizu Kaisen Doiya played a leading role in developing port infrastructure to promote the tea trade. Because of these activities in the early Meiji period, Shimizu Port became a nodal point in the circulation of imports and exports to and from Yokohama.


Toshiaki YAMAI, Regional planning and central place theory in Germany after World War II: drafting the regional development plan of 1971 in Baden-Württemberg

Central place theory was one of the main concepts of regional planning in West Germany after World War II. It aimed at establishing a decentralized socio-economic structure through a countrywide network of central places, i.e. municipalities that provided the hinterland with administrative, economic, social and cultural services. One of the criticisms of this approach was that the designation of central places “from above” could encroach on the principle of municipal self-government. This problem was an expression of conflict between local interests and interests of the whole society, similar to conflicts every country faces when it engages in supra-local planning. How did Germany overcome this contradiction? This paper seeks an answer to this question through a study of the drafting process of the regional development plan of 1971 in Baden-Württemberg. This state created a planning system under the Regional Planning Act of 1962, focusing on regional planning associations as a mainstay for planning “from the bottom up”. After about ten years this system was replaced by another system with a stronger stress on initiative “from above”. This paper will analyze the process of this change.


Hiroshi ONO, Housing reconstruction in war-damaged cities in the late 1940s: creation and distribution of residential housing under Japan’s postwar regulatory regime

This paper examines the history of housing reconstruction in postwar Japan, that is, the construction of urban residential housing following Japan’s defeat in World War II, providing an historical account of the reconstruction of war-damaged housing from the perspective of the creation and distribution of private residential space under Japan’s postwar regulatory regime. Methodologically, rather than examining the “postwar housing shortage” using the framework of the prewar, peacetime “housing shortage,” this paper argues that the postwar housing situation was an historically unique situation different from the preceding and subsequent eras. The paper systematically examines the process under which Japan’s regulatory regime created and distributed non-commercial, residential housing, during a period when various controls blocked the formation of a system based on commercial supply. It assesses this process in terms of the destruction of the supply structure and changes in the ownership structure.
In terms of the creation of non-commercial, residential housing, the paper shows how government-controlled materials, capital, and residential land were used. Finally the paper describes the role of nepotism in the distribution of non-commercial, residential housing, on a rental basis to all levels of society.


Haixun LI, Cold-resistant paddy cultivation and the spread of improved rice varieties in modern Northeast Asia: another “Green Revolution”

Northeast Asia witnessed the spread of new methods of cultivation before 1945 similar to the Green Revolution witnessed in other parts of Asia since the 1960s. This paper examines the process of this Northeast Asian version of the “Green Revolution”. It reveals first that the expansion of paddy cultivation in cold regions in Northeast Asia was largely due to the invention and spread of hardy varieties of rice.
Second, the northeast Asia rice cultivating regions witnessed a spread of manure-durable varieties in connection with an increasing supply of nitrogenous fertilizers. The spread of new varieties required an increase in the use of fertilizer, and the increased production of the latter promoted the spread of the former. In Japan an expansion of nitrogenous fertilizer production stimulated the invention and spread of manure-durable varieties, whereas in Korea the spread of varieties developed in Japan led farmers to increase the application of fertilizers, thus forming a complementary relationship between new varieties and fertilizers. In Northeast China, similar manure-durable varieties spread increasing the consumption of manure up to 1937. However, a decline in the local production of nitrogenous fertilizers leads to a disruption in the complementary connection between the increasing fertilizer supply and the spread of manure-durable varieties.


Shotaro SAITO, The outbreak of the “Aliens Question” in Britain from the late 19th century to the early 20th century: the precondition of the Aliens Act 1905

In early 20th century Britain, the basic tone of immigration control changed from an “open door” to “restriction”, with the Aliens Act 1905 serving as an historical landmark in this shift. This article traces changes in the influx of immigrants and the resulting interest in the “Aliens Question”, and considers the intention of the Aliens Act, namely the logic affirming “state intervention” in restriction of immigration. Anti-foreign public sentiment was a response to the inflow of poor immigrants from Eastern Europe, who came to live in the East End of London. The increase of poor immigrants aggravated existing social problems, including sweated labour, overcrowding, pauperism, and criminality. The movement to restrict immigration, together with the tariff reform movement, claimed to be ways to protect the employment and lives of British workers against the flood of immigrants. The Aliens Act claimed to restrict “undesirable immigrants”. This article argues that the public discourse about the “Aliens Question” and the legislation of the Aliens Act came at a time when Liberalism was challenged, doubts were being raised about free trade, and “state intervention” was seen as a way to deal with social problems.


Yuta KIKUCHI, Hamburg’s seaborne trade in the Baltic Sea area during the early modern period: a study of the distribution structure of an intermediate port

A large number of political, economic and natural obstacles hindered the development of commodity distribution in early modern Europe. The complexity of the transport systems has given rise to repeated debates about which trade routes, overland or waterborne, played the most important role in the distribution of goods. This paper argues that it is impossible to make generalizations. Rather, we need to consider the specific conditions that prevailed in different regional systems in different periods of time. Hamburg, which developed intermediary trade through land, river and sea trade routes, offers a suitable example for consideration. This paper, comparing Hamburg’s seaborne trade in the Baltic region to overland trade in the area, analyses the pattern of commodity distribution, focusing on the commodities that were transported through Hamburg by sea. It shows that in the course of the 18th century a series of political and economic conditions specific to Hamburg shaped a distribution structure. One of the major commodities in the sea trade was sugar, which was brought to the city in vast quantities for refining and which was then transmitted to the Baltic region in ships with larger transport capacity.