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INSTITUTIONALISING TECHNICAL EDUCATION: THE CASE OF WEAVING DISTRICTS IN MEIJI JAPAN

Authors

  • TOMOKO HASHINO

    1. Kobe University
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    • The author is grateful to Mataji Umemura and Hoshimi Uchida for fulfilling discussions in the early stages of this research. A previous version of this research benefited from the comments of participants at the Annual Conference of the Business History Society of Japan, a seminar at the Institute of Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, CRMA Business History Conference at the University of South Australia, and the 30th Conference of the Portuguese Association of Economic and Social History. The author also appreciates the valuable comments and suggestions provided by Keijiro Otsuka and Eugene Choi during the process of revising this paper. This research was partially supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, (A) 23243022 and (A) 22243055.


Abstract

This paper explores the institutionalisation of technical education for the indigenous Japanese weaving industry and studies the necessity of such education for traditional weavers operating in the modern economy of Meiji Japan. It focuses on how these institutions influenced the government's subsequent institutionalisation of formal technical education. Differing from the state's industrial modernisation programmes that were led by the establishment of technical high schools and engineering universities, trade associations played a major role in the institutes in the weaving districts. The paper also highlights the importance of grass roots activities in the successful adoption of new Western technology among locals.

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