The book presents the completely new history of Japanese social state whose policies and knowledge were developed in the nineteenth century . Read More
Japan did not wait until its defeat in 1945 and the establishment of clear political citizenship rights to implement modern health and social policies. As early as the middle of the 19th century and the opening up of the country's borders, Japan inserted itself into the international circulation of knowledge that was experiencing a boom at the time.
After the Meiji Restoration, the governing and intellectual elites were able to meet the challenges of industrialisation and the construction of a nation State by designing ambitious policies based on a global approach to population, and which simultaneously covered public assistance for the destitute, hygiene, nutrition, demography, migration and employment. With the rise of the social movement and Japan's accession to the International Labour Organization, the aftermath of the First World War was decisive for the birth of a true form of 'social citizenship’. These policies, which continued to be implemented during the 1930s despite the decline of liberal and democratic ideas, established the foundations of the Japanese social State and form the basis of 'Japanese-style’ labour relations wherein companies play a central social role.
Deviating from the assumption that all industrialised societies developed in accordance with a Western model, this volume offers a riveting look at the history of modern Japan.
A former resident of the Maison franco-japonaise [Franco-Japanese House] and a guest researcher at the University of Tokyo, Bernard Thomann is now a professor of Japanese history at the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales [National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations].