Capital and culture in Japan

McConnell, Mary Carter, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
Damon, Frederick H., Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
Seneviratne, H, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
Wagner, Roy, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
Wilson, Michiko, East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Virginia

Modern capital markets by their nature operate in an international system which requires the differences in each nation's capital instruments to be made equivalent and comparable by quantification. Yet the basic capital structure of Japanese industry is different from that of American industry. Though it is composed of financial instruments of debt and equity that are translatable into western equivalents - stocks, bonds, short term loans, government loans, etc. the corporate relationships that result are more striking for their differences with their western counterparts than their similarities. As a major non-western industrial nation, Japan provides an ideal test for treating capital as a cultural product, an embodiment of social relationships and not an object with universal definition and significance.

The moral and logical order upon which Japanese capital relations are based is not that of "laissez-faire" or "free market." "Economics" is encompassed by the concept of the nation and the family. The ie, the household and debt-making unit in pre-industrial Japan, is an analog for the corporation, the modern unit of production. Both are set in relationship to others of their kind to form a network embracing the entire society. Japanese corporations form into groups of corporate lineages centered upon a core of financial corporations and bounded by a trading company. Instruments of equity and debt are used to establish corporate ties. The path of debt that is established between corporations is followed by many other exchanges.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Capitalism -- Japan, Industries -- Japan

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:34:49.

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