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Japanese Economics / Japanese Business


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Tokugawa Japan
Read about the history and culture of Tokugawa Japan; I want you to especially focus on Tokugawa philosophy.,

Tokugawa Japan   In Japanese history, the Tokugawa period is regarded as the "early modern" period in Japan for it laid down the structures that would make possible the emergence of "modern" Japan. The phenomenon of modern Japan is a unique chapter in history, for the Japanese very quickly adopted Western models of political and economic organization and, within just a couple decades, became the technological, military and economic powerhouse of eastern Asia.
   Historians have for a long time pointed to changes in the Tokugawa period to explain the sudden emergence of Japanese modernism. Althought the period after the Meiji Restoration (1868) was full of innovations and the introduction of Western patterns, most of those innovations were built from Tokugawa practices and most of the new Western ways of doing things were already being done in some way before their introduction.


Economics   On this essay, I want you to focus entirely on one aspect of the "modernization" of Japan: economics. For the decades after the Meiji Restoration saw a dramatic growth in Japanese business and overall national wealth; this growth in wealth was less due to foreign influence than it was the adaptation of indigenous Japanese structures, such as the zaibatsu or "clan corporation."
   In this essay, I want you to pick one of two subjects: economics or business management. I want you to explain how either of these two would be understood from a Japanese point of view. How would a Japanese understand the nature and purpose of economics? How would a Japanese understand the nature and structure of managing a business or corporation?
   In order to make your argument, you can only use material that you've learned about Japan in the learning module, Tokugawa Japan. You can use either the history of the Tokugawa state, the structure of Tokugawa society, or, better yet, the innovations in Japanese thought represented by either Tokugawa Neo-Confucianists or the kokugakushu .
   In one paragraph, you're going to explain that aspect of Tokugawa culture that you're going to use in your argument. For instance, if you're using one of the kokugakushu , then you must explain that person's thought in one paragraph. In your second paragraph, you're going to explain the Western model of economics or business management based either on your reading of Adam Smith or any other relevant text that you know from other classes. In your third paragraph, you're going to show, using your explanation in your first paragraph, how the Japanese idea of economics or business management might differ from the Western model that you have just explained.
   Make sure that you have a thesis!


Discussion   Make sure that your answer also responds to previous work. I want you to add to or disagree with a previous answer so that our understanding of Japanese culture increases as responses accumulate.


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