DOI link for Historical Background
Historical Background book
Morishima (1982) has similarly argued that Japanese group orientation and loyalty was in some way equivalent to Calvinist frugality and the work ethic, and dates back to the seventh century. However, he does not explain why the existence of this ethic from such
an early time suddenly led to economic development in the late nineteenth century. He also argues that Tokugawa Japan closed the country to outside trade in the 1630s to protect inefficient handcraft industries from Western competition, and save the country from becoming an agricultural and mining primary producer (Morishima 1 9 8 2 : 5 9 - 6 0 ) . But the leading industrial products of the West in the seventeenth century were woollens and guns, and woollens were not suited to the Japanese market, which used cotton, hemp and silk fabrics. As for guns, the Japanese were already masters of gun-making in the late sixteenth century and could more than hold their own in the arms trade (Perrin 1 9 7 9 : 4 , 7 0 ) . What is more, Japan was a prosperous country, well-endowed with natural resources such as timber, iron ore, gold, silver and copper.