chapter  5
21 Pages

Japanese technical manpower in industry, 1880–1930: a quantitative survey

Though modern Japanese private enterprise emerged only from the late 1880s, it has today, after 100 years, established itself at the top of international competition in terms of high technology, equalling or surpassing the major enterprises of Europe and the United States, from which Japan at first learned and borrowed. Progress in the Japanese firms in acquiring, digesting, and developing technology is so remarkable a phenomenon of modern business and economic history that we must ask the question: ‘What kind of people carried out such a major transformation?’ The simple answer is, ‘It was a joint effort by technical personnel within major enterprises, consisting of skilled workers and highly educated engineers.’