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Keywords:

  • N65;
  • N70;
  • O14;
  • R11
  • cotton spinning;
  • Garabō;
  • late industrialisation;
  • Meiji Japan;
  • technological change;
  • regional economics

Through the importation of the state-of-the-art British spinning technology of the late nineteenth century, a new cotton spinning sector began to emerge in Meiji Japan during the 1870s and 1880s. This hectic technology transfer was accompanied by a remarkable domestic technological breakthrough that enabled the local spinners to significantly increase productivity to meet the unprecedented pace of the soaring market demand. This paper examines a relatively neglected case of the rattling spindle, Garabō, which was a product of Japanese native industrial endowments in parallel with the development of the British-style mills.