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Science And Technology In Modern Japanese Development

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Chapter Summary

In those countries that have most recently attained the modern stage of economic development, science and technology have usually been introduced by the public sector and transferred to the private sector when they have become productive. It is a common belief among historians of Western science that in pre-modern times science and technology were distinct activities with different social origins. After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the Japanese response to Western science was dramatically transformed. Japanese studying Western science during the late Tokugawa period were impressed by the Western process of inquiry into physical laws, rather than by the aggregate of facts and objects of nature. Modern scientific and technological professions were the artificial creation of the new, Western-oriented government. The most important traditional technology was agricultural technology. In textile enterprises, college-trained engineers mainly served as official supervisors assessing the work of entrepreneurs.

Keywords: agricultural technology; Meiji Restoration; modern Japanese development; textile enterprises; Tokugawa period; Western science



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