Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD) LSE RSS Contact Us YouTube Twitter

Abstract:

Japanese Studies Programme Paper
A Historical Transformation From Feudalism to 'Capitalism'
Michio Morishima
January 1986
Paper No' JS/1986/138:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: japan; england; feudalism; capitalism; history.

'Where feudalism ends, the capitalist regime commences.' This familiar and prima facie self-evident statement is the proposition which I want to examine in this paper. I would argue as follows: Even given the uniformity of feudalism everywhere in the world (i.e. if it has always appeared in its purest form with no deviation from the logically constructed ideal type), it must have appeared in combination with many other elements such as, for example, whether a country has an oceanic or continental climate, the types of weapons available in a society, the type of religion most influential in the lives of the people there, and so forth. These additional elements must also play significant roles; so where combinations vary, different types of economy (or society) must be obtained after any transition from feudalism to a more developed mode of production. It may thus be conjectured that even if feudalism were unique, capitalism as a result of the transition would not be unique. The present paper aims to confirm this conjecture by comparing aspects of the history of Japan with that of England.