Japan as a Model: Prosperity, Problems and protests & Borrowing from Japan Postwar Economic Success Rapid growth in gross national product by mid 60?s attributed to: Populous of Japan, highly literate and hard working Government and Japanese Companies vigorously pursued market Japan invested abroad especially SE Asia and North America Employment paternalistic ( unemployment rate low Group of people have suffered who aren?t included in permanent employment system Once you get a job you?re reasonably secure Japan didn?t spend much of its wealth on defense American?s said it was b/c we were defending Japan Cooperation btwn gov and business which worked well together, liberal democratic party been in power since war almost that favors business After WWII New cars turned out such as Toyotas 1970?s ? 80?s Prosperity Before it was thought they made cheap junk but no longer thought when they exported fuel efficient cars to U.S. In early 70?s we had oil crisis in which gas went up to 40cents / gallon and people needed to save money so Japanese cars which were efficient and attractive to American consumer Electronic equipment ? receivers, tuners and speakers as well as TV?s and cameras were from Japan Prospered through making good quality ?stuff? Set up trade barriers, most painful for U.S. was barrier and restrictions on food imports such as beef from U.S. Oranges were another item which they put barrier on Rice growing kept agricultural sector in good shape Safety regulations which varied Ways in which businesses organized to make imports less attractive and lucrative Result was growing trade surplus with US in particular and very strong currency People went out looking for jobs b/c yen went up and dollar went down Opened up factories else where Gov developed fiscal problems ( privatize corporations such as railways Should US Copy Japan Japan was useful mirror to US according to Ezra Vogel?s book A surprising argument about a country which very often depicted as very isolated and not willing to change Vogel was right essentially He argues Japan was more successful than US re overpopulation and shortage of resources The Good and the Bad When you look at the way U.S. viewed Japan its mixed Positive views on Japan was that it was a society in which apparently people have achieved harmony, low rate of violence, Japan has become more dangerous but they do seem more rare (violence) than in U.S. Positive view was issue of making good products Americans manifested interest in Japan in many ways, classes were full of people wanting to learn about them Upper division courses would have been large People wanted to learn about Japan b/c they wanted to learn about their economic prosperity Many interested in Zen and martial arts Book of five rings martial arts text written in Tokugawa Japan Bashing Very severe , accused of unfair trade practices even when it wasn?t following them Violence in U.S. against Japanese products and people perceived as Japanese 2-3 young people of Chinese decent accused of being Japanese and beaten up Difficult to drive Japanese car b/c they were perceived as putting Americans out of work, alleviated by their opening factories in N. America Japan incorporated a comic which took a look at the Japan bashing phenomenon Educational System A strength was their educational system They did well in school and kids studied hard 9 years of public school education were compulsory, almost all kids continued after high school then to university Under occupation authorities universities established in each prefecture A number of very distinguished private universities Life of highschool student characterized as examination hell To get into good high school you had to take an exam to you started studying in JR High To get into good university you needed to study for exam Those that went to high ranking universities had connections w/ alumni of universities Lesser universities you have more trouble Competition was for slot in top universitites Mom would nag children to study and sharpen pencils for them etc. Child?s success valorizes mother Students who?ve worked so hard don?t have time to make friends or have good time, go to after school classes, then when they get to university it is time for play and its hard to get students to take university seriously Some students do work hard Tuition was relatively low Permanent Employment Limited to large firms and has never been more than 1/3 of all Japanese employees One of their strengths Salaries tied to seniority not performance so as you get older in company you get paid more Job changes were discouraged and if you go around job hunting you are considered unreliable so no one wants to take you Risk taking and innovation discouraged b/c you could make mistake Mid 90?s permanent employment seen as problem not solution, this is still the case for the most part Sub Contractors and Day Labor The other 2/3 there is subcontracting system and at bottom of society theres group that participate in day labor Certain areas in Tokyo and Osaka in which these people live They aren?t considered to be permanent labor force Large firm farms out jobs to sub contractors who have employees not included in permanent job system and can be layed off when jobs gone ? highly exploitative?those suffer most are day laborers Sub contractors aren?t in terribly good position either They make due by hiring foreign labor from south asian and middle east Protest Movements 1960?s ? 70?s In 1960?s and 70?s there were number of protest movements including student protest movements Students protests japans support for U.S. in Vietnam War Student protests were lively and violent A lot of faculty supported students ? not everyone however Typically there were 2-3 groups of people wearing different colored helmets and carried posters with big pictures depicting demands University shut down ? not a lot of attempt made to oppose the strikes unlike in U.S. helicopters with tear gas was let out over US Berkley Professor at University of Kyoto who went missing for a year and was collecting pay envelope which his wife would take to him ? he hadn?t come to campus b/c he was wanted for murder, and through wife he argued that he was still doing his work b/c he was still publishing Japanese professors don?t teach as much as American professors and then continue with research, so no one made a huge fuss about it and wanted to know where he was and was collecting salary w/o working?they tried firing him and there were demonstrations so finally they were able to fire him?this was the end of that type of activity and type of protest Environmental Pollution Rapid postwar industrial growth ( severe air pollution Citizen protests Mianamata disease Mercury poisoning from Chisso chemical factory Victims and family got together and too Chisso to court Chisso went bankrupt Images of Japanese Society Some images promoted by J themselves One image is that West favors individual and Japan favors group Japanese participate in consensus decision making where everyone to some level participate and people asked their opinions They don?t want you disagreeing with them once decision made Certain rules that you must follow and that you don?t have to follow ?there is conflict between reality and public image When is it ok to break rules? Reality yes they can use swimmingpool, public image is that they aren?t supposed to at all It is hard to say no? indirect discourse If you ask someone to do something they typically wont bluntly say no to you It makes society work more smoothly if everyone is supposed to agree and no one argues and if you?re going to challenge something you do so behind scenes not openly Japanese acquiescent Protest does however happen The West Reads Postwar Japan Got to Japanese society through arts such as film literate and dance Kurosawa was most distinguisedh and known in west of Japanese directors Kawabata Yasunari Nobel Proze 1968 Wrote book centered on traditional Japanese character He said Japan special b/c of its respect for nature Oe Kenzaburo nobel prize winner 1994 Defining experience was defeat in WWII Became leftist political activist Known as father mentally handicapped child which gave works compassion First novel translated into enlighs was devoted into subject of mentally handicapped child He spoke at UCLA 15 yrs ago Arts in Modern japan: Buto Originated in 1959, differs from traditional Japanese dance and Western Dance Characterized by grotesque images and seemingly meaningless actions Meaning of one of their dances, there is no meaning we are just throwing bodies around on Japanese Film There are good films from 50?s and 60?s Many directors stand in pre and post war periods 2 most pop genre known as Samurai epic and the domestic drama Msot Japanese director focusing on family life was Ozu Yasuhiro ? focus on family life Economic prosperity ( company employment cooperation
Want to see the other 6 page(s) in lecture 18 notes?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!