Silk, Regional Rivalry, and the Impact of the Port Openings in Nineteenth Century Japan
Univ. of Nottingham Research Paper No. 2009/15
34 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2009
Date Written: July 1, 2009
The centre of economic activities in Japan was once in western Japan. Since the mid-nineteenth century, however, economic activities within Japan have been continuously shifting towards the east side of the country including Tokyo. Conventional wisdom associates the end of the Tokugawa feudal regime with this eastward shift. By applying a new economic geography model to the silk economy of Japan in the nineteenth century, this paper explains why the majority of industrial activities located initially in western Japan, and offers an alternative economic explanation for the eastward shift as an impact of the port openings in 1859.
Keywords: International trade, economic geography, Japan, silk trade
JEL Classification: F12, L67, N95, R12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation