Sayako KANDA and Takashi OISHI, Consumption, socio-cultural representation, and identity: the impact of Japanese products on India’s socio-economic changes in the early twentieth century
India imported a variety of products from Japan in the early twentieth century. This series of three papers examines the ways in which Japanese products were accepted and consumed in India during the period of growing nationalism. By focusing on several commodities and the social, economic, political, and cultural values of each, we tried to understand both the dynamic changes in the political and religious identity of various communities and the diverse attitudes towards consumption among people from different socio-economic classes.
Neither the decline of imports from Europe during WWI nor the low price of Japanese goods can alone explain the influx of Japanese products into India. Both Oishi and Yanagisawa show that the popularity of Japanese products among the lower and lower-middle classes was not merely due to providing cheaper alternatives to European upmarket ones. The availability of such a range of cheaper products coincided with these people’s growing capacity for consumption and strong desire to establish their identity within society. Focusing on one of the wealthy mercantile communities, Toyoyama also demonstrated how their choice of Japanese products and motifs of Hindu deities were a result of their efforts to secure their proper place in a future ‘independent’ India.
Takashi OISHI, Interlinkages between social dynamism in modern India and commodities imported from Japan: patterns of adoption, imitation and differentiation for ornaments and other beauty goods
After describing the phials, bangles, beads and imitation pearls that were the main items included in the glass goods exported from Japan to India before WWII, this article analyzes various contexts in India and Japan which facilitated the trade. On the side of Japan, we begin with the transformative dynamism in the production of glass ornaments and phials for the domestic market in the early Meiji period, with products later customized for the export market. A system of dispersed production centering on merchant organizers functioned as the base for innovation and sharing of technology; this system, working in a collaborative relationship with Indian merchants was able to produce a large variety of goods. As for India, we begin with a trend among new colonial elites to adopt court culture and particular consumption patterns prevalent in pre-modern times, and then consider other patterns of behavior among the low and lower-middle classes, which attempted to invent imitational as well as differentiating consumption styles, not necessarily conforming to social authenticity and prestige. Comparing the Japanese glass and glass-bottled products with the high-valued goods made of gold, silver, sandal oil, etc., this article contextualizes the former as the instrumental gear which worked to realize such consumption.
Aki TOYOYAMA, Symbolism of Japanese tiles in interwar India
This paper examines the historical trajectory of Japanese decorative tiles called majolica in interwar India, to shed light on the ways that Indian identities were crystallized through Indo-Japanese economic relations. The tile as a modern building material was initially brought from Britain to India, and became a popular way to display high social status in colonial cities. The awareness of public health led a broader population to use tiles for sanitizing urban spaces. Although India’s demand for tiles rapidly increased by the late 1910s, the British industry suffered from the postwar depression, and this enabled Japan to replace Britain as the leading exporter of tiles to India. Japan’s success in the tile trade with India was the result of the low price of the products and the development of “Indian” designs including Hindu mythological subjects. In an Indian context, the emergence of newly-risen communities such as the Marwaris facilitated tile consumption in India, since this community used tiles in their residential spaces as an expression of social reform. Furthermore, the nationalist movement led people to boycott British tiles; since the Indian tile industry had not yet been well developed, people bought Japanese majolica tiles which were recognized as good alternatives.
Haruka YANAGISAWA, Empowerment of the lower class in India: ‘industrialization from below’ and low-priced goods from Japan
This article first notes that the empowerment and rise of the socio-economically lower class and the corresponding diversification of consumption patterns in early twentieth century India created the market for low-priced goods in some commodities, including textiles and foods, along with small-scale industries to meet those demands. It further contends that such historical background and dynamism primed conditions for the subsequent development of the low-priced goods industry into a primary component of India’s contemporary economic development; this was achieved especially through furnishing the technologies and experiences for small-quantity, large-variety production of such goods. This article shows that Indo-Japanese trade relations and Japanese goods brought into India facilitated the realization of what we would term ‘industrialization from below’. Evidence is drawn from the case of Japanese hosiery to show that low-priced goods created/stimulated the market for hosiery, and that low-priced machinery and manufacturing materials, including threads made of cotton and artificial silk, helped form the production base in modern India.
Hirotaka NAKAYA, West Germany’s accession to the International Authority for the Ruhr: the negotiation process of the Petersberg Agreement of 1949
This article analyses the negotiations of the Petersberg Agreement of 1949 between West Germany (i.e. the Federal Republic of Germany [FRG]) and the three Allied High Commissioners—the USA, the UK and France— from the viewpoint of the history of European integration. It focuses on the FRG’s accession to the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR or Internationale Ruhrbehörde [IRB]) in relation to various matters in the Petersberg Agreement. The IAR was the predecessor of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC or Europäische Gemeinschaft für Kohle und Stahl [EGKS]), the first organisation of the European Communities. However, the IAR is seldom mentioned in European integration history, in part because discussions and research about the IAR are not regarded as the main theme of this history. This article, on the basis of evidence from several archives in Europe and the USA, counters that supposition, arguing that the FRG’s accession to the IAR was discussed in close connection to the supranationalism issue. Supranationalism, in which national sovereignty is controlled by a group of nations like the European Union, is an essential concept in European integration history research. Therefore, the negotiation process of the Petersberg Agreement was an important phase in the history of European integration.
Katsutoshi HASHIGUCHI, The Showa Depression and the Japanese cotton industry: the eleventh reduction in operation and Hattori Shoten
This paper examines the Japanese cotton industry’s success in enhancing competitiveness during the Showa Depression. There is no question that the Showa Depression put the cotton industry in a difficult predicament. The Japan cotton spinner’s association, drawing on tactics it had successfully used in the past, decided to reduce output—a reduction/restriction known as the eleventh reduction—throughout the spinning industry. In order to gain members' compliance with the curtailed operations, the spinners’ association tried to strengthen cooperation by listening to the opinions and counterarguments of medium and small-sized cotton-spinning companies. The spinners’ association also met the requests of the weavers’ association by coordinating interests within the spinners’ association and lowering the rate of the reduction. As a result, a conflict occurred between the spinners and the cotton-yarn merchants who demanded a higher rate of reduction．Under these circumstances, Hattori Shoten played a key role in negotiating with the spinners’ association，not only as a medium-sized textile manufacturer but also as a cotton-textile merchant serving as the representative of the Japan cotton weavers’ association. From this we can conclude that the Japanese cotton spinning industry survived the Showa Depression and embarked on a stage of great achievements in the 1930s by strengthening cooperation with the weavers.
Yugo TAKEHARA, Shaping secular bourgeois society in mid-19th century Berlin: from the beginning of the Jewish emancipation to the formation of Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft
In mid-19th century Berlin, Jews and Christians shared financial risks and worked together in one of the great German banks, Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft. This article considers why Jews, a religious minority, were allowed to join the bank at that time.
Jews could not attain urban citizenship or join merchants’ guilds in the 18th century. Christians didn’t regard Jews as partners for economic growth in Berlin or Prussia, even though Jews achieved Prussian citizenship in 1812 and the legal right to join the Corporation der Kaufmannschaft (built as a result of the dissolution of the merchants’ guilds in Berlin) in 1820. In the beginning, only one Jew was elected to the Ältesten, representatives of the Corporation der Kaufmannschaft, but Jews made efforts to expand the interests of civil society in Berlin. Many Jews, for example, cooperated with the Ältesten to build a clearing house and some railroad companies. As a result, Christians gradually began to trust Jews, and the number of Jews in the Ältesten began to increase in the 1850’s. Thus, the Berliner Handels-Gesellschaft was formed in the process of shaping secular bourgeois society.