Based on a collection of labor contracts and other documents, this book examines the legal, economic and social relations of labor 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 labor relations.
Series: Changing Labour Relations in Asia
Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 1st March 2005
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.15
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1