chapter  7
THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF CAPITALISM AND THE FIRST FLEXING OF THE WORKING CLASS’ MUSCLES
Pages 31

Capitalism developed forcefully in Japan over the 13 year period which separated the end of the RussoJapanese War in September 1905 from the weeks of spectacular rioting over the price of rice in JulySeptember 1918. Table 7.1 demonstrates this further development of capitalism by listing the same economic indicators for 1906-18 as were presented in Table 1.1 for the period 1880-1905, with the exception of private railway investment. Capital invested in private railways ceased to be a useful economic indicator in the period 1906-18 since the Japanese government, which up till then had owned only about one third of the existing track, nationalised the railways in 1906. As can be seen from Table 7.1, over this 13 year period the number of factories more than doubled, as also did the number of joint-stock companies. Banks, on the other hand, became fewer but more powerful, their total paid-up capital of ¥511.5 million in 1918 being almost double what it had been in 1906. As for the section of the working class in the factories, their numbers passed the 1 million mark in 1916 and had reached more than 1.4 million in 1918. This latter figure represented a 230 per cent increase over the 612,177 workers employed in factories in 1906.