Traditional Technology and its Impact on Japan’s Industry during the Early Period of the Industrial Revolution
Domestic technology is usually connected with the economic environment, including raw materials and working conditions. The term 'modem industry' is therefore limited to the branches in which Western-style products were manufactured in a Western-style production process; included here are for instance, heavy industry, shipbuilding, the machine-tool industry, and the whole range of metal processing industries. Textile production (cotton, fabrics, silk) were important export goods during the whole of the Meiji period and traditional textile industry played a vital role in the economy. It was not only because of a different level in technology, or a gap between Japanese and Western standards, that the assimilation of Western technology was a delicate task for the shipbuilding industry. The domestic craftsmen must have had a profound lack of a systematic knowledge of natural sciences. The Japanese Industrial Revolution in its narrow sense usually refers to the mid-1880s.