Issue editors: Hilaria Gössmann & Franz Waldenberger
Das Ende des Shōwa-Tennō, oder: Der Shōwa-Tennō und kein Ende. Die Diskussion in Politik und Literatur (The End of the Shōwa Emperor, or: Shōwa Emperor and No End. Discussion in Politics and Literature)
This article addresses reactions to the death of Emperor Hirohito and studies as well as judgements about his life and politics. In Japan, as well as in other countries, opinions are divided. At the center of these debates is the issue of the Emperor's role in Japan's entry into the Second World War. For politicians as well as scholars, Hirohito was either a war criminal or a helpless tool of the militarists. The majority of the Japanese people, however, held and still hold him in high esteem. The next generation of the Imperial family seems to be less distant to ordinary people and seems to be developing into a monarchy similar to those of European countries. The political changes in Japan during 1993 give the impression that the character of state and society have changed compared with late Shōwa Japan.
Heinrich Edmund Naumann was certainly not the first geologist to enter Japan when he arrived in August 1875 at the age of 21. But as an o-yatoi gaikokujin (employed foreigner) he was to become the first professor in this subject in Japan, teaching at the University of Tōkyō. He instructed the first generation of geo-scientists, whose work has had a lasting impact up to the present. Naumann's outstanding contributions include: the first tectonic map of the Japanese archipelago, which remained accurate for a long time; the analysis and interpretation of the dominant tectonic elements of Japan, which meant the first geo-scientific analysis of volcanic activities in Japan; the compilation of historical data on earthquakes together with the creation of a macro-seismic scale; and finally various contributions in the field of paleontology. His most significant achievement was the foundation of the Chishitsu Chōsajo (Geological Survey of Japan). He directed the scientific work of this national geological service during its first years and soon achieved a standard of research comparable with international levels. The Geological survey was essential for macro-economic resource management and for the economic development of Meiji Japan.
This article throws some light on the post-war development of the Japanese economy using new approaches in monetary theory. In the framework of this theory, the Bank of Japan is integrated into the model as a market participant. The article provides a historical survey of the interaction between monetary policy and the financial system on the one side and economic development on the other side. It also discusses the responses of both monetary policy and the financial system to changing market conditions. In the 1950's and 1960's, monetary policy and the structure of the financial system were directed toward spurring investment and economic growth. Beginning in the mid 1970's, we observe the development of a monetary policy that tried to stabilize the monetary frame of an industrialized economy.
This article analyzes some special features of Japanese industrial organization: the relatively high degree of vertical and horizontal specialization of Japanese firms and the high percentage of small and medium sized enterprises in the organization of industrial production. These differences are related to characteristics of the Japanese labor market. The underdevelopment of an external labor market implies that Japanese labor management has to fulfill additional incentive and information functions that would otherwise be taken over by a fully developed external market. It is argued that this shifts marginal management costs upward, leading to smaller and more specialized firms in Japanese industry.
Other possible explanations for these characteristics of Japanese industrial organization are considered, such as socio-cultural factors, the high-growth environment, the effective protection of Japanese manufacturing industries against imports and direct foreign investment during the high-growth period, and the special policies for the support of small and medium-sized enterprises. It is suggested that none of these explanations is sufficient. However, the effective protection of Japanese industry is found to have been a decisive factor insofar as it prevented an early integration of Japanese industry into the international division of labor. Such an integration would probably not have allowed Japanese industrial organization to develop its peculiar features.
The Japanese consumer of today has a wide variety of retail outlets to choose from. These include not only the traditional mom-and-pop stores or the department stores but also speciality stores and all types of supermarkets, such as general merchandising stores, food supermarkets, discount stores, convenience stores and home centers. The main purpose of this article is to give an account of how the Japanese consumer chooses between these alternatives. This is done in three steps using data from various surveys. First, the choice among the alternative retail store types is shown in relation to the type of goods purchased. Second, results relating to the general image of the various retail stores among Japanese consumers are presented. Finally, the special demands Japanese consumers associate with certain retail store types are listed.
The analysis leads to the conclusion that the role of small traditional retail outlets - supported for a long time by state intervention in the distribution sector - is increasingly being taken over by modern retail-store types such as the convenience store or the food supermarket. There is a gap between the marketing policy of Japanese department stores and general merchandising stores and the demands the Japanese consumer directs toward these types. Whereas stores of both types have been moving up into a high pricing position, Japanese consumers, especially after the bursting of the bubble economy, have become more price conscious.
The supply of logistic services has made an essential contribution to the internationalization of the Japanese economy. The main suppliers of logistics services are the firms in the traditional transport and haulage industries. These industries developed in the course of the Meiji Restoration and received in the early stages strong support from the state. During the development of the Japanese economy, the relative importance of the different means of transportation and the business conditions of the related firms went through various changes. In general, the transport industry has often been the object of government intervention.
The beginning of the internationalization of Japanese industry gave rise to new demands for international logistics services. Japanese logistics firms set up overseas head offices to provide services to other Japanese firms, especially firms from the manufacturing sector with overseas production sites. However, the example of Japanese direct investment in the US shows that large manufacturing firms with a strong foothold abroad tend to transfer responsibilities for logistics systems to inhouse divisions. As a result, independent suppliers of logistics services are confronted with more intense competition. In the long run, Japanese logistics firms overseas will have to direct themselves more towards the needs of local customers in order to free themselves from their dependence on Japanese manufacturing firms in these markets.
It is widely maintained that the dominant feature of Japan's spatial geography is the contrast in the spatial distribution of social and economic phenomenon between the Tōkyō metropolitan region, and the sparsely populated countryside. The present article, however, attempts to show that at least with regard to those social problems that are strongly related to mortality levels, the reality is far more complex.
By using both correlation analysis and multiple classification analysis it can be demonstrated that it is the occupational structure of regions that exerts the strongest influence upon the distribution of such social indicators as the unemployment rate, the percentage of female divorcees, the number of fatherless households, and the number of people receiving public livelihood assistance. In this respect, urban areas like Osaka or Fukuoka, which display low percentages of higher administrative and professional occupations, rural regions with a relative lack of jobs in the manufacturing sector (mostly located in the southwestern part of Japan), and some bathing resort towns in particular may be described as »problem areas«. The urban-rural contrast as such, on the other hand, is only influential with regard to the distribution of the price-adjusted, average income of employees and the age-adjusted, percentage of persons without higher education. Finally, there are some phenomena such as the percentages of burakumin and of older, single-person households, that are distributed according to historical and cultural regions.
The author concludes that more research on spatial distribution patterns is needed in order to fully comprehend the regional structure of Japan and thereby assist in the determination of a more successful regional planning policy.
Rollenbilder im Wandel - Mann und Frau in japanischen Sozialkundebüchern von 1945 bis 1993 (Changing Role Models: Men and Women in Japanese Social Studies Textbooks between 1945 and 1993)
This article surveys the changing gender images in Japanese teaching materials by examining the family- and work-related content of civics textbooks for Japanese middle schools of two major publishers and the corresponding educational guidelines by the Ministry of Education. In analyzing the »official view« and the actual social development during the past six decades, two results are prominent: First, even though Japanese textbooks are often seen as extremely uniform due to the detailed guidelines and rigorous examination process of the Ministry of Education, this analysis identifies differences in content and even in formal structure of the subject matter presented by the two private publishers. Second, in general the major changes in the portrayal of gender role models can be described in the following manner. The first two decades of postwar civics were dominated by an attempt to establish in Japan democracy and equality of legal status in principle between men and women. The Western middle-class family ideal, based on a general division of labour (man as breadwinner, woman as housewife), was adopted and adjusted to traditional Japanese gender concepts, serving at the same time to stabilize the new social order and reaching a peak in the seventies. The idea that the social emancipation of women should extend beyond mere legal status has vividly been reflected in textbooks only since the eighties. The most recent texts of 1993 have at last cautiously turned to a new male role model, seeing men explicitly in their roles as fathers and partners in organizing family life as well as employment.
Hans Dieter Ölschleger, Eva König
Haushalt und Familie in San Juan de Yapacani, einer japanischen Auswanderer-Kolonie in Bolivien (The Japanese Family in San Jan de Yapacaní: A Japanese Pioneer Community in Eastern Bolivia)
Changes in the family structure and the household composition of Japanese immigrants in both parts of the Americas are usually seen against the background of a traditional Japanese family system - the ie-model - whose remains are sought in the different settings to which the immigrants have adapted. This article is based on the assumption that there is no homogenous family model in Japanese society, and that the forms of the family and the household are in continuous interaction with other societal subsystems, especially economic ones. Changes in the structure of households and reproductive behaviour after immigration - the virtual disappearance of vertically extended families and a reduction in the average number of children per family - are interpreted as a reaction to the changing nature of agriculture. Lack of financial means and machinery during the first decades made a household with as many able-bodied workers as possible imperative for economic success. Today, however, the size of the familial work-force is irrelevant, as Bolivians can be hired in sufficient numbers, and agriculture is fully mechanized. One way to optimize economic success for the individual and the nuclear family is to keep the household as small as possible. The data show a marked tendency of flexibility in behaviour, which is also presumably a part of the family system in Japan proper.
Nagai Kafū (1879-1959), the paradigm of a late-Meiji intellectual, travelled to America and France from 1903 to 1908. He was sent abroad by his father to gain modern, Western knowledge that would help him to make a career after his return. But Kafū used his time abroad for his own purpose as much as he could. He studied French, observed current mainstreams in American and European art and literature, and became a passionate admirer of Western music, especially the opera. Those who went abroad created the mainstream of criticism against the official modernization policy of Japan. This criticism, which grew especially strong after the Russio-Japanese war, was countered by the government with censorship and oppression.
This article analyzes Nagai Kafū's cultural criticism as expressed in his extremely polemical and critical Kichōsha no nikki [Diary of one who returned to Japan; 1909]. After his return in the summer of 1908, Kafū published several short stories and essays attacking Japan's modernization for its lack of authenticity and its neglect of Japan's own culture. For Kafū, as for many others, Meiji Japan was nothing but a superficial copy of the West, and the Meiji period a »time of destruction«. In this diary-like essay the narrator draws a convincing picture of Japan's disordered cultural situation in the late Meiji period through dialogues with five people. Two of the characters and the narrator himself represent Kafū's diverse opinions on the process of modernization. From his point of view, Japan's original autochthon culture has to be found in the arts of the Edo period, which in his day where only preserved in the amusement districts. The »diary« already foreshadows the author's later dedicated works on the arts of the Edo period.
Das buraku-Problem in der japanischen Literatur am Beispiel der Erzählungen von Tokuda Shūsei und Shimizu Shikin (Modern Japanese Literature and the Buraku Problem: The Novels of Tokuda Shūsei and Shimizu Shikin)
The buraku issue is one of the social problems treated in Japanese literature. Between the beginning of the Meiji period and the start of the World War II, about 100 literary works were produced that in one way or another touch upon the buraku problem. There have been quite a few socio-historical studies of this minority group. However, with a few exceptions, such as Hakai (The Broken Commandment; 1906) by Shimazaki Tōson, the buraku problem in Japanese literature has so far not been subjected to a thorough analysis in the field of Japanology, either inside or outside Japan. This article analyzes the treatment of the burakumin in two representative writings: Imin gakuen [A School for Emigrants; 1899] by Shimizu Shikin and Yabukōji [Wallflower; 1896] by Tokuda Shūsei. It is argued that the intentions of the authors, who were driven by social concerns, show up only in a superficial sense of compassion. The underlying psychological structure of their approach basically manifests the common prejudice against this minority group.
In conclusion, the article addresses the seven volume novel Hashi no nai kawa (The River with no Bridge; 1959-) by Sumii Sue, which can be taken as a contemporary example of a different treatment of the buraku problem.
In contemporary Japanese literature, many best-selling novels focus on the hedonistic and materialistic way of life of the younger generation. Nevertheless, there are also novels by famous authors dealing with social issues. This article aims to analyze the ways in which these novels contribute to the public discussion of urgent social issues in Japanese society.
To demonstrate the wide range of social problems dealt with in contemporary Japanese literature, novels on three different social problems that have been discussed widely since the 1970's are introduced. In the first chapter, which deals with the care of elderly people, Kōkotsu no hito (The Twilight Years; 1972) a best-seller written by Ariyoshi Sawako, is compared to Gunsei (Living Together, 1984) by Kuroi Senji. The second chapter is about discrimination against single mothers and fatherless children. Novels of Tsushima Yūko, Yamada Taichi and Ochiai Keiko are analyzed. The last chapter introduces novels of Hikari Agata and Yamada Eimi dealing with ijime, the bullying of schoolmates, and refusal to attend school (tōkō kyohi).
It appears to be a common characteristic of most of these novels that the authors avoid drastic or extreme descriptions in order not to discourage those readers who are confronted by these kinds of social problems. Rather, the authors tend to demonstrate how the problems can be solved in an idealistic way.
Sprachen und ihr ökonomisches Gewicht (The Economic Power of Languages)
Taking up an idea put forward by Joshua A. Fishman and the coauthors of The Spread of English (1977), this article gives an up-to-date ranking of languages according to their economic power. Figures are calculated based on GDP and number of native speakers. For example, in the case of French the ranking is the sum of the GDP of France, 0.45 of the GDP Belgium, and 0.26 of the GDP Canada. The five economically most powerful languages are - in decreasing order - English, Japanese, German, French, and Spanish.
Quantität als Bewertungsmaßstab literarischer Übersetzungen. Prolegomena zur Etablierung eines japanisch-deutschen Äquivalenzwertes [Quantity As a Means of Evaluating Literary Translations - Prolegomena To the Establishment Of a Japanese-German Factor of
Taking up Arno Schmidt's so-called enlargement factor of 1.1 German letters for 1 English letter in carefully executed English-German literary translations, samples of some thirty computationally reorganized (kana-basis, punctuation marks) modern Japanese novels and short stories are compared with their German-language versions. German texts are counted as running texts. Assuming a rather wide preliminary range of acceptability, the results show that texts containing less than 1.95 German signs (punctuation marks and spaces included) per Japanese sign are too tight and scarce or have been cut, and that texts with 2.45 or more signs either contain numerous explanatory additions, or the translator simply has chatted. The article further reports corresponding figures for five Japanese translations of German literary works and includes a warning to use quantity only as a tandem-factor in evaluating literary translations.
後藤晃『日本の技術革新と産業組織』[Innovation und Industrieorganisation in Japan] 東京大学出版会 1993. VII, 200 S. 3708 Yen
Das Weißbuch der Arbeit 1993
Deutsch-japanische Wörterbücher zur juristischen Fachsprache- Neuerscheinungen 1993