The historical consumer: consumption and everyday life in Japan, 1850-2000
Much of the existing writing on Japan's economic rise has concentrated on the production of goods, neglecting the role of the consumers and users of the expanding output of Japanese businesses. This is indicative of an unfamiliarity with the economic history of Japan, which has traditionally been seen as having little in the way of a consumption history of its own, separate from Western paths of development. This volume goes some way towards redressing this balance, combining economic, social and cultural analysis to provide a comprehensive account of the historical origins and pathways of consumption, as well as the labour allocation decisions and the gender relations which have accompanied these developments. Chapters focus on the interactions of individuals, institutions and social structures that have determined the changing pattern of everyday life in Japan since the nineteenth century, thus broadening the comparative framework within which global consumption history can be studied and demonstrating the ways in which consumption changes in the course of economic development.