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The Rise Of Japan’s Modern Shipping Industry

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Chapter Summary

The basis of Tokugawa's authority lay in its traditional military strength. The technical excellence and scale of the American vessels which had so impressed the Tokugawa Shogunate were potent factors in demonstrating the extent to which Japan had fallen behind the other nations of the world. A small number of iron steamships and wooden sailing vessels were then gradually acquired by the State from foreign owners. This chapter investigates the underlying factors which have given Japan such an impressive comparative advantage over her rivals. With the objects of the initial subsidisation achieved, the Government spent some time in considering the most effective way in which it should give future aid. Any study of the impact of government support of the shipping industry and of the peculiar Japanese structure which emerged must necessarily examine the role of the Zaibatsu.

Keywords: American vessels; Japan; military strength; shipping industry; Shogunate; Tokugawa's authority; Zaibatsu



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