Issues in Modern Japanese Economic Development: Late Industrialisation, Imperialism and High Speed Growth

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Janet Hunter STC.S484


This course is available on the BSc in Economic History, BSc in Economic History with Economics, BSc in Economics and Economic History, BSc in Economics with Economic History and BSc in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

The course combines an examination of some major themes and historiographical issues in modern Japanese development  with a focus on particular empirical aspects of Japanese economic history since the mid-19th century.Some use is made of statistical and English language primary sources. Topics will include pre-industrial growth and its legacy; economic growth before the Second World War; Japanese formal and informal empire; the Pacific War and the Occupation of Japan; trade and interaction with the international economy; consumption and living standards; institutions and organisations; the role of the state-social structures and gender.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 4 hours of seminars in the ST.

22 weekly seminars (EH325) of two hours each. Students are expected to do prior reading and preparation, to participate in group discussion and to make presentations.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to write three essays or equivalent pieces of written work.

Indicative reading

A detailed reading/seminar list is handed out at the beginning of the course, but the texts listed below provide a background: A Gordon, A Modern History of Japan (2003); P Francks, Japanese Economic Development (2nd edn, 1999); P Francks, Rural Economic Development in Japan (2006);  J E Hunter, 'The Japanese Experience of Economic Development' in P O'Brien (Ed, Industrialisation: Critical Perspectives on the World Economy (1998);  M Tanimoto (eds), The Role of Tradition in Japan's Industrialisation (2006), Part 1.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Teachers' comment

This course was not taught last year.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills