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Description - Labour Contracts and Labour Relations in Early Modern Central Japan by Mary Louise Nagata

Based on a collection of labour contracts and other documents, this book examines the legal, economic and social relations of labour as they developed in the commercial enterprises of Tokugawa Japan. The urban focus is Kyoto, the cultural capital and smallest of the three great cities of the Tokugawa period, but the data comes from a wider region of commercial and castle towns and rural villages in central Japan. Tokugawa businesses were family firms, but the system differed from that found in European cities at this time, and differences in family practice also resulted in a different organization adapted to business needs. This semi-public family environment also lent itself to conflict as outsiders were incorporated into family space, hierarchies and affairs. Conflict and its resolution is a topic of special interest in this study. Problems such as embezzling, stealing and absconding, and the mechanisms developed to address these problems in the paternalistic environment of family firms are portrayed through letters and other documents of accusation, investigation, apology, reconciliation and punishment. Numerous translated excerpts of documents written by and for workers and employers bring the voice of the people to life and in this analysis of labour relations.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415346054
ISBN-10: 0415346053
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 8-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Mary Louise Nagata

Mary Louise Nagata is a Membre Associate at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and has also been teaching East Asian and Japanese History at University of Minnesota.