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Two articles published in early 1992 in the monthly opinion journal Chūō kōron set off a minor debate on the essence of Japan's historical experience. The articles were written by Kawakatsu Heita, a professor of economic history at the Waseda University, as a critique of Ueyama Shunpei, a noted cultural historian. A rejoinder by Ueyama was published subsequently in the same journal, and a critique of Kawakatsu by another economic historian, Tsunoyama Sakae, also followed.
Has the organization of commercial agriculture in the Third World been shaped primarily by external forces from the world economy? This study of sugar production in northern and western India shows that industrialists were generally unable to impose a plantation system on the local peasantry, despite the great technical and economic advantages of doing so. Control of the land, in most cases, did not pass into the hands of industrialists. The organization of crop production remained almost unchanged in the north, while in the west, despite initial progress toward a plantation system, the local cultivators responded by taking control of the industry into their own hands. Thus, contrary to experience in much of the New World, Indian villagers did not become passive victims of the sugar industry; those in the west went even further, in taking over the industry themselves. The contrast between these regions can be explained in part by the temporary existence of an “irrigation frontier” in the west.
A successful pattern of close ties between the state and large-scale private enterprise in Japan and Korea has attracted the attention of scholars, policymakers, and businessmen. The prewar Japanese state (Moulton 1931; Lockwood 1955; Nakagawa 1983) with its distinctive methods of promoting private enterprise played a major role in this eminently successful case of a “late developing” (Gerschenkron 1966; Rosovsky 1961) society. It also provides an early example of what has recently been termed a “capitalist development state” (Johnson 1987). Studies of prewar business-state relations have distinguished business policy associations as major loci of state ties with Japanese firms (Ishida 1968; Tiedemann 1971; Heidenheimer and Langdon 1968), thereby offering insight into the formation of an entrepreneurial elite and the role of private enterprise in state-directed development efforts.
This essay examines the cross-border trade among the migrant Yunnanese between Burma and Thailand during the era of the Burmese socialist regime. It was a period when the Burmese government implemented a nationalized economic system and strictly forbade free movement and private trade. Taking a transborder perspective, the essay looks beyond government institutions and probes the mercantile agency of the migrant Yunnanese traders, which contributed to the formation of their socioeconomic mechanisms. The findings suggest that the economic practices of the Yunnanese traders in effect constituted a transnational popular realm that formed an informal oppositional power against the Thai and Burmese national bureaucracies on the one hand, and incorporated varied state agencies on the other hand.
The diffusion of cotton processing and trade were major features of the expansion of rural commerce and handicraft production in the Kinai region during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Both were responses to demands for sources of non-agricultural employment in Japanese villages. They made available off-season by-employment for small farmers and offered new types of employment to those under-employed in agriculture. The expansion of rural participation in cotton processing and trade brought the villagers into conflict with urban merchants and artisans. This initially led to reinforcement of urban commercial prerogatives by the government and subsequently to legal confrontations between rural and urban merchant groups which in 1823 were decided in favor of the rural merchants. The role of the government shifted from protection of urban merchant interests to denial of their monopoly and monopoly rights and tacit support for the expansion of rural processing and trade.
Overall, the expansion of rural commerce and handicraft industry illustrate the economic and social changes which characterized the Kinai region during the Tokugawa period and the commercialization of the village economy. It also illustrates the inability of the Tokugawa bakuju to limit or direct the process of societal change.
Sites, here the eighth-century Buddhist shrine Borobudur and other remains of the Hindu-Buddhist past located in colonial (predominantly Islamic) Java, are in this article our analytical tool to provide insight into the local and transnational dimensions of heritage politics and processes of in- and exclusion in Asia and Europe around 1900. Because we recognize these “sites” as centers of multiple historical, political, and moral spaces that transgress state boundaries, we take this concept beyond the nation-state-centered lieu de mémoire. By exploring how site-related objects traveled from temple ruins in Java to places elsewhere in the world (here: Siam, the Netherlands, France, and Great Britain) and back to Java, we show the transformation of heritage engagements around 1900 at multiple locations, and we make clear why, despite professionalizing state-centered heritage politics, state control was limited. We argue that the mechanisms of exchange and reciprocal interdependence, as theorized by Marcel Mauss, are crucial to understand the moral and economic engagements that define the problem of heritage, at local and transnational levels.