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Railroad Workers and World War I: Labor Hygiene and the Policies of Japanese National Railways

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Chapter Summary

With the expansion of Japan's railroad network to its colonies, the labor hygiene system was introduced to other parts of the Japanese empire. This chapter elucidates the process of building a labor hygiene system by reviewing the changes in the hygienic conditions of the employees of the prewar Japanese National Railroad (JNR), and the subsequent actions taken by the JNR authorities. Although there have been studies of the labor hygiene systems in the spinning and mining industries before the war, little attention has been paid to labor hygiene of the railway industry. It is divided into three parts. The first section reviews how the hygiene system was first developed in the JNR after the nationalization of railroads. Then, the next section examines the impact of the First World War on railroad workers. The third section discusses the measures taken by the JNR authorities to improve the health of the workers.

Keywords: First World War; japanese national railroad (JNR); labor hygiene system; railroad workers



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