Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 February 2019
The assessment of relative living standards, dominated by food, has been central to analysis of the timing and causes of the Great Divergence. Comparative quantitative measures of real incomes and food availability have generated the conclusion that living standards on the western side of Eurasia, in particular in England, were already higher than those observable on the eastern side by the seventeenth century, with the divergence widening thereafter. However, in the English case, research based on evidence as to what people actually ate suggests that the path of dietary change was by no means a straightforward matter of rising calorie consumption. When viewed in the light of this, evidence derived from the work of food historians of Japan can similarly be used to reveal a more complex pattern of dietary development than can be encompassed in quantitative estimates, even if along the lines of a very different diet and cuisine. This needs to be taken into account when living standards are compared across the divergence.
The names of Japanese authors writing in Japanese are presented in Japanese order, i.e. family name first.
1 Broadberry, Stephen, Campbell, Bruce, Klein, Alexander, Overton, Mark, and van Leeuwen, Bas, British economic growth, 1270–1870, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 384–387 Google Scholar and table 10.02. For the original comparative data on food and living standards, see Allen, Robert, Bassino, Jean-Pascal, Ma, Debin, Moll-Murata, Christine, and Luijten van Zanden, Jan, ‘Wages, prices, and living standards in China, 1738–1925: in comparison with Europe, Japan, and India’, Economic History Review, 64, S1, 2011, pp. 8–38 CrossRefGoogle Scholar .
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3 Pat Hudson, review of Broadberry et al., British economic growth, in Economic History Review, 69, 1, 2016, pp. 363–5.
6 Broadberry et al., British economic growth, table 10.02; Allen et al., ‘Wages, prices, and living standards’.
7 UNESCO, ‘Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9 COM 8.17’, 2013, http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/decisions/8.COM/8.17 (consulted 11 August 2016). See also Yoshiko, Gotō, Edo no shoku ni manabu: bakumatsu Chōshū-han no eiyō jijō (Studying the Edo-period diet: the state of nutrition in late-Tokugawa Chōshū domain), Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten, 2015, p. 5 Google Scholar , to which I owe this point. For a critique of the idea of ‘traditional Japanese cuisine’, see Rath, Eric, Japan’s cuisines: food, place and identity, London: Reaktion Books, 2016, ch. 1 Google Scholar .
8 Government of Japan, ‘Washoku: traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese’, http://www.maff.go.jp/j/keikaku/syokubunka/ich/pdf/leaflet_e2ok.pdf (consulted 8 March 2017).
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11 Broadberry et al., British economic growth, tables 3.16 and 3.18.
12 Ibid., pp. 126–7.
13 For the latest version of these estimates, see Jean-Pascal Bassino, Stephen Broadberry, Kyōji Fukao, Bishnupriya Gupta, and Masanori Takashima, ‘Japan and the Great Divergence, 725–1874’, Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy, University of Warwick, Working Paper Series no. 230, 2015, https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/230-2015__broadberry_gupta.pdf (consulted 31 October 2018).
14 Ibid., tables 1 and 2.
15 See Osamu Saitō, ‘Climate, famine, and population in Japanese history: a long-term perspective’, in Batten, Bruce and Brown, Philip, eds., Environment and society in the Japanese islands: from prehistory to the present, Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2015, pp. 213–229 Google Scholar .
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17 Bassino et al., ‘Japan and the Great Divergence’, p. 15.
18 Nishikawa, Shunsaku, ‘Grain consumption: the case of Chōshū’, in Marius Jansen and Gilbert Rozman, eds., Japan in transition from Tokugawa to Meiji, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986, pp. 423–425 Google Scholar , 436; Gotō, Edo no shoku, p. 59.
19 Gotō, Edo no shoku, p. 86.
20 Broadberry et al., British economic growth, pp. 288–92.
21 Ibid., pp. 279–80, 295, 303–4.
22 Stephen Broadberry, ‘Accounting for the Great Divergence’, London School of Economics, Working Paper No. 184, 2013, http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54573/1/WP184.pdf (consulted 31 October 2018).
23 For a survey of competing estimates, see Bernard Harris, Roderick Floud, and Sok Chul Hong, ‘How many calories? Food availability in England and Wales in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’, Research in Economic History, 31, 2015, p. 114.
25 Ibid., ch. 2; Thirsk, Joan, Food in early modern England: phases, fads, fashions 1500–1760, London: Continuum Books, 2006, ch. 9 Google Scholar .
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28 Ishige, Naomichi, The history and culture of Japanese food, London: Kegan Paul, 2001, p. 102 Google Scholar .
30 Broadberry et al., British economic growth, table 7.06.
31 Thirsk, Food in early modern England, pp. 217–20.
32 Muldrew, Food, energy and industriousness, p. 59.
33 Robert Allen, ‘Real wages in Europe and Asia: a first look at the long-term patterns’, in Robert Allen, Tommy Bengtsson, and Martin Dribe, eds., Living standards in the past: new perspectives on well-being in Asia and Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 115; Allen et al., ‘Wages, prices, and living standards’, p. 21.
34 Thirsk, Food in early modern England, pp. 216–17.
35 Gotō, Edo no shoku, tables 12 and 27; Koyama, ‘Hida go-fudoki’, p. 212.
36 Charlotte von Verschuer, Rice, agriculture and the food supply in premodern Japan, trans. Wendy Cobcroft, Abingdon: Routledge, 2016, ch. 4. See also Ōmameuda Minoru, O-kome to shoku no kindai shi (The modern history of rice and diet), Tokyo: Yoshikawa Bunkan, 2007, table 3.
37 Gotō, Edo no shoku, pp. 69, 90, and table 27.
38 Yamaguchi Kazuo, Meiji zenki keizai no bunseki (Analysis of the early Meiji economy), Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppansha, 1963, table 7.
39 Ōmameuda, O-kome to shoku, table 5.
40 Gotō, Edo no shoku, pp. 31–4.
41 Ōmameuda, O-kome to shoku, pp. 71–2.
42 Jean-Pascal Bassino and Debin Ma, ‘Japanese unskilled wages in international perspective, 1741–1913’, Research in Economic History, 23, 2005, pp. 229–48.
43 Bassino et al., ‘Japan and the Great Divergence’, p. 15, n. 8.
44 For a similar critique of Allen et al.’s consumption basket, see Saitō Osamu, Hikaku keizai hatten Ron (Comparative economic development), Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2008, p. 116.
45 Muldrew, Food, energy and industriousness, pp. 105–12; Thirsk, Food in early modern England, pp. 284–303.
46 For an example of the significance of home-grown produce for the adequacy of the diet, see Meredith and Oxley, ‘Food and fodder’, pp. 204–5.
47 Gotō, Edo no shoku, p. 73.
48 Ibid., pp. 25–7.
49 Yamaguchi, Meiji zenki keizai, table 17.
50 Ibid., table 18.
51 See, for example, Minoru, Watanabe, Nihon shoku seikatsu shi (History of the Japanese diet), Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1964, p. 191 Google Scholar .
52 Naoki, Hashimoto, Shokutaku no Nihon shi: washoku bunka no dentō to kakushin (The history of food in Japan: tradition and change in the culture of Japanese-style food), Tokyo: Bensei Shuppan, 2015, pp. 76–77 Google Scholar .
53 See, for example, Hashimoto, Shokutaku no Nihon shi, p. 138, for the relative prices facing a Kyoto carpenter’s family.
54 Muldrew, Food, energy and industriousness, pp. 83–100.
55 Broadberry et al., British economic growth, table 7.04.
56 Ibid., table 7.06.
57 Thirsk, Food in early modern England, p. 220.
58 See, for example, Junko, Takagaki, ‘Yonezawa no shokuseikatsu (Diet in Yonezawa)’, in Ishikawa Hiroko and Haga Noboru, eds., Zenshū Nihon no shoku bunka 10: nichijō no shoku (Japanese food culture series 10: everyday food), Tokyo: Yūzankaku, 1997, p. 124 Google Scholar .
59 Watanabe, Nihon shoku seikatsu, p. 193; Nobuo, Harada, Edo no shokubunka: washoku no hatten to sono haikei (Edo food culture: the development of Japanese-style food and its background), Tokyo: Shogakken, 2014, pp. 104–105 Google Scholar .
60 Koyama, ‘Hida go-fudoki’, pp. 216–17.
61 Gotō, Edo no shoku, pp. 38–44.
62 Arch, Jakobina K., Bringing whales ashore: oceans and the environment of early modern Japan, Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2008, pp. 96–99 Google Scholar .
64 Food and Agricultural Organization, ‘Summary of requirements for energy and protein’, http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/AA040E/AA040E09.htm (consulted 15 March 2017).
65 Gotō, Edo no shoku, tables 14 and 24; Allen, British Industrial Revolution, p. 36.
66 Thirsk, Food in early modern England, e.g. pp. 326–7.
68 Koyama, ‘Hida go-fudoki’, p. 213; von Verschuer, Rice, agriculture and the food supply, ch. 3.
69 Koyama, ‘Hida go-fudoki’, pp. 213–14; Walker, ‘Commercial growth’, p. 335.
70 Horomi, Taguchi, ‘Matagi: Nihon rettō ni okeru nōgyō no kakudai to shuryō no ayumi’ (Matagi: the history of hunting and the expansion of agriculture on the Japanese archipelago)’, Chigaku Zasshi (Journal of Geography), 113, 2, 2004, p. 194 Google Scholar .
71 For examples of traditional foraging practices still in operation in Akita in north-eastern Japan after the Second World War, see Homma, Gaku, The folk art of Japanese cooking: a traditional diet for today’s world, Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1991 pp. 85–87 Google Scholar .
72 For evidence from Chōshū, for instance, see Gotō, Edo no shoku, p. 49. On the products of hunting and trapping, see Vaporis, Constantine, Tour of duty: samurai, military service in Edo, and the culture of early modern Japan, Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008, pp. 190–191 CrossRefGoogle Scholar ; and Walker, ‘Commercial growth’, pp. 341–4.
73 Thirsk, Food in early modern England, e.g. pp. 133–5, 169–70.
74 See e.g. Pennell, Sara, The birth of the English kitchen, 1600–1850, London: Bloomsbury, 206, pp. 79–81 Google Scholar .
75 Clark, Gregory, Huberman, Michael, and Lindert, Peter, ‘A British food puzzle, 1770–1850’, Economic History Review, 48, 2, 1995, pp. 215–237 Google Scholar .
76 Yoshifumi, Sasama, Nihon shokuhin kōgyō shi (The history of food processing in Japan), Tokyo: Tōyō Keizai Shinposha, 1979, p. 46 Google Scholar ; Yamaguchi, Meiji zenki keizai, table 28.
77 Thirsk, Food in early modern England, pp. 231–2.
78 For descriptions, see Rath, Japan’s cuisines, ch. 3.
79 For examples, see Homma, Japanese country cooking, p. 65; Hashimoto, Shokutaku no Nihon shi, pp. 170–2. For evidence of such preservation techniques still being practised in the early twentieth century, see Partner, Simon, Toshié: a story of village life in twentieth-century Japan, Berkeley, CA: California University Press, 2004, pp. 12–13 Google Scholar , 20.
80 Hashimoto, Shokutaku no Nihon shi, pp. 170–2.
81 Harada, Edo no shokubunka, p. 66; Sasama, Nihon shokuhin, p. 23.
82 Sasama, Nihon shokuhin, pp. 58–9; Takagaki, ‘Yonezawa no shoku seikatsu’, p. 116; Gotō, Edo no shoku, p. 90.
83 See e.g. Reiko, Hayashi, ‘Chōshi shōyū jōzōgyō no shijō kōzō’ (The market structure of the Chōshi soy-sauce industry)’, in Yamaguchi Kazuo and Ishii Kanji, eds., Kindai Nihon no shōhin ryūtsū (The distribution of goods in early modern Japan), Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai, 1986, pp. 237–238 Google Scholar .
84 Harada, Edo no shokubunka, pp. 74–5.
85 Ibid., pp. 96–7. For more on the processing and marketing of fish and seaweed, see Kalland, Arne, Fishing villages in Tokugawa Japan, Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press, 1995, ch. 12 Google Scholar .
86 Watanabe, Nihon shoku seikatsu, p. 195.
87 Koyama, ‘Hida go-fudoki’, p. 219.
88 Sasama, Nihon shokuhin, p. 65.
89 Harada, Edo no shokubunka, pp. 114–5.
90 Hanley, Everyday things, p. 124.
91 Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and power: the place of sugar in modern history, New York: Penguin, 1985, pp. 114–5; Thirsk, Food in early modern England, p. 225.
92 Muldrew, Food, energy and industriousness, pp. 64–83.
94 Koyama, ‘Hida go-fudoki’, p. 219.
95 Thirsk, Food in early modern England, pp. 247–8; Pennell, Birth of the English kitchen, pp. 65–7.
96 See e.g. Overton, Mark, Whittle, Jane, Dean, Darron, and Hann, Andrew, Production and consumption in English households, 1600–1750, Abingdon: Routledge, 2004, pp. 102–108 Google Scholar .
97 Overton et al., Production and consumption, pp. 116–20.
98 Kazuko, Kosuge, Nihon daidokoro bunka shi (History of Japanese kitchen culture), Tokyo: Yūzankaku, 1991, ch. 1 Google Scholar .
99 Harada, Edo no shokubunka, p. 55; Koizumi Kazuko, ‘Kurashi no dōgu (Tools of everyday life)’, in Iwanami Kōza, ed., Nihon tsūshi (Japanese history), vol. 13, Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1994, pp. 355–6.
100 Hashimoto, Shokutaku no Nihon shi, p. 137.
101 Harada, Edo no shokubunka, pp. 148–9; Koizumi, ‘Kurashi no dōgu’, p. 359.
102 Yamaguchi, Meiji zenki keizai, table 28.
103 Muldrew, Food, energy and industriousness, esp. pp. 226–33.
104 Ibid., pp. 64–83.
105 See, for example, Takagaki, ‘Yonezawa no shokuseikatsu’, p. 134.
106 See, for example, Maruyama Yasunari, ‘Kinsei ni okeru daimyō minshū no shokuseikatsu (The diet of lords and commoners in the early modern period)’, in Ishikawa and Haga, Zenshū Nihon no shoku bunka 2, p. 191.
107 Examples from Maruyama, ‘Kinsei ni okeru’, pp. 193–4.
108 Harada, Edo no shokubunka, pp. 56–7.
109 Vaporis, Tour of duty, p. 192.
110 For examples, see Francks, Penelope, The Japanese consumer, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 21–26 Google Scholar .
111 Harada, Edo no shokubunka, p. 133.