chapter  2
28 Pages

The “Take-Off” of Japanese Workers

WithKumazawa Makoto

This chapter traces the course of the Japanese take-off beginning in the early twentieth century to present an image of the organized workers of Japan. But to bring some key features of the Japanese case into sharper relief, it provides a detour through the British and American take-offs. The conditions of the British take-off and the choices made by British workers contrast sharply to those of Japanese working people, but the American course is relatively similar to the Japanese take-off. The lives and thoughts of men and women who participated in the takeoff of a worker society in Japan contrasted sharply to the experience of Euro-American workers in their take-off. The combined force of a new, competitive organizational principle of using so-called men of talent selected through the school system and a political framework that completely rooted out independent movements of resistance, ruled out a Western form of take-off.