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Edited by Bettina Gramlich-Oka and Gregory J. Smits

This volume explores early-modern formations of economic thought and policy in a country widely regarded as having followed a unique, non-Western path to capitalism. In discussing such topics as money and the state, freedom and control, national interest ideology, shogunal politics and networks, case studies of the Saga Domain and Ryukyu Kingdom, Confucian banking, early Meiji entrepreneurship, and relationships between macroeconomic fluctuations and policy, the essays here deepen and revise our understanding of early-modern Japan. They also enlarge and refine the analytical vocabulary for describing early-modern economic thought and policy, thereby raising issues of interest to scholars of world history and economic thought outside of Japan or East Asia.

Commodities and Colonialism

The Story of Big Sugar in Indonesia, 1880-1942

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G. Roger Knight

Sugar yesterday was what oil is today: a commodity of immense global importance whose tentacles reached deep into politics, society and economy. Indonesia’s colonial-era sugar industry is largely forgotten today, except by a small number of regional specialists writing for a specialist audience. During the period 1880-1942 covered by this book, however, the then Netherlands Indies was one of the world’s very greatest producer-exporters of the commodity. How it contrived to do so is the story presented in this book.
Author G. Roger Knight, associate professor of history in the University of Adelaide, has researched the history
of Indonesia’s sugar industry for more than twenty-five years, using unpublished archival sources in both the Netherlands and Indonesia. His search has taken him into government records, family histories and – above all – the
extensive surviving papers of the Dutch sugar companies who operated in Indonesia during the late colonial era. The result is a picture of the industry that offers important new insights into its history and its place in the framework of global commodity production over a period extending over three quarters of a century.

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Shelley Ching-yu Hsieh

In Gold and Jade Filled Halls: A Cognitive Linguistic Study of Financial and Economic Expressions in Chinese and German Shelley Ching-yu Hsieh offers an account of how we use financial linguistic expressions every day. They include various linguistic vehicles and cultural models that are related to the real world, such as gold, the stock market, animals, and plants. The cross-linguistic research benefits the understanding of the cultural value and model of cognition embedded in languages. It also provides useful strategies for learning language and possible social factors that influence human behaviors.

Marco Polo Was in China

New Evidence from Currencies, Salts and Revenues

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Hans Ulrich Vogel

In Marco Polo was in China Hans Ulrich Vogel offers an innovative look at the highly complex topics of currencies, salt production and taxes, commercial levies and other kinds of revenue as well as the administrative geography of the Mongol Yuan empire. The author’s rigorous analysis of Chinese sources and all the important Marco Polo manuscripts as well as his thorough scrutiny of Japanese, Chinese and Western scholarship show that the fascinating information contained in Le devisament dou monde agrees almost pefectly with that we find in Chinese sources, the latter only available long after Marco Polo’s stay in China. Hence, the author concludes that, despite the doubts that have been raised, the Venetian was indeed in Khubilai Khan’s realm.

Mining, Monies, and Culture in Early Modern Societies

East Asian and Global Perspectives

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Edited by Nanny Kim and Keiko Nagase-Reimer

Mining, Monies, and Culture in Early Modern Societies explores substantial and methodological issues in the early modern history of mining for monetary metals and monies of Japan, China, and Europe. The largest group in the thirteen articles presents empirical research on mining, metallurgy, and metals trade in the context of global trade systems. Another group focuses on the effects of money in government and everyday life. Several articles investigate scroll paintings and material remains as sources for the history of technology, or apply Geographic Information Systems to the analysis of spatial dimensions of mining areas.

War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China

A Study of the Second Jinchuan Campaign (1771–1776)

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Ulrich Theobald

In his book War Finance and Logistics in Late Imperial China, Ulrich Theobald shows how the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1911) overcame the tyranny of logistics and successfully enlarged the territory of its empire. A detailed analysis of the long and expensive second Jinchuan war (1771 – 1776) in Eastern Tibet demonstrates that the Chinese state ordered its civilian officials as well as the common people, merchant associations, and different ethnic groups to fulfil and to foot the bill for the “common cause”. With increasing military success the state gradually withdrew from its responsibilities, believing that a War Supply and Expenditure Code (Junxu zeli) might offset the decreasing skill in and readiness to imperial leadership.

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Edited by Keiko Nagase-Reimer

This volume sheds light on the important role of copper in early modern Sino-Japanese trade. By examining the demand for copper and the policy on copper procurement in Japan and China as well as the role of Osaka merchant houses, this volume provides a new slant on the “life” of Japanese copper – from production and distribution to consumption. In addition, papers on other significant traded products such as sugar, seafood, and books give us a better understanding of Sino-Japanese trade overall. The latest discussions on this field, which were mostly published in Japanese, have been brought together in this book and made accessible to an English-speaking audience.
Contributors include: IMAI Noriko, IWASAKI Yoshinori, LIU Shiuh-Feng, MATSUURA Akira, and Keiko NAGASE-REIMER.

History of Korean Modern Retailing

Repressed Consumption and Retail Industry, Perceived Equality and Economic Growth

Jong-Hyun Yi

In History of Korean Modern Retailing Jong-Hyun Yi shows how the Korean retail industry has developed since the 1970s, focusing on the relationship among government, consumers and retail companies, especially the department store. While generally it is said that underdevelopment of the Korean retail industry in the 1970s was attributed to economic immaturity, he argues it was artificially formed by strong consumption repression by the government. He also examines how consumption repression contributed to economic growth. Such initial condition in developmental period is a crucial factor to explain other distinctions like explosive growth and remarkably short heyday of the department store afterward.

With this, Jong-Hyun Yi traces the correlation between economic growth and stratification of the consumption since the 1970s. He proves that equality or inequality of consumption is a more influential factor for economic growth than that of income.

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Edited by Jane Kate Leonard and Ulrich Theobald

Money in Asia examines two chronic problems that faced early modern monetary economies in East, South, and Southeast Asia: The inability to provide sufficient amounts of small currencies to facilitate local economic transactions and to control currency depreciation. The studies in this volume analyze the social and economic consequences of small currency scarcity and devaluation on various Asian economies and show how various regimes tried to manage these ever-present challenges. They reveal that those regimes that dealt most successfully with these two issues were those with an integrated national approach to monetary policy.
Contributors are: Peter Bernholz, Werner Burger, Cao Jin, Mark Elvin, Dennis O. Flynn, Roger Greatrex, Najaf Haider, Reinier H. Hesselink, Elisabeth Kaske, Man-houng Lin, Jane Kate Leonard, Christine Moll-Murata, Keiko Nagase-Reimer, Shan Kunqin, Shimada Ryūto, Ulrich Theobald, Hans Ulrich Vogel, and Willem Wolters

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Edited by ZHANG Xingxing

The first volume of Historical Studies of Contemporary China offers an examination of some key events, developments, issues, and figures in China since the founding of the People’s Republic. Drawing on rich primary and secondary sources, leading experts in the political, economic, intellectual, military and national defense, and diplomatic history of the PRC present insights and analysis on a wide range of topics, including emergency measures during the Difficult Three Year Period, the relationship between Neo-Confucianism and Marxism, the evolution of China’s international arms control policies, the Chinese government’s public opinion campaign prior to reestablishing diplomatic relations with Japan, the “Kashmir Princess” incident, and others. These accounts will help readers form a more nuanced understanding of China’s efforts to deal with an array of new problems while trying to recover from the ravages of two wars.