Shibusawa said, _You cannot run a business unless you have the necessary capital. I therefore purchased stocks and public bonds and received a salary. But my aim was not to increase my assets. I buy 100,000 yen s worth of stock and if business is good its value might increase to 200,000 or even 300,000 yen. Yet my aim is not this increase in wealth but to ensure that the business gets into this kind of situation. That is all. I haven_t thought about my personal profit even for a moment._ These words of Shibusawa_s show that he should be viewed as a manager and entrepreneur rather than as a capitalist.
The same can be said of Godai Tomoatsu. Born the son of a samurai in the Satsuma domain (now Kagoshima Prefecture), Godai took a post in the Meiji government but resigned from government office in 1869 and devoted the rest of his life to the promotion of commercial private enterprises. At the time of the Meiji Restoration, samurai in Japan gave up their special privileges. This voluntary abandonment of privileges would have been unthinkable in Western society, where people of all social standings have always insisted on their rights as a matter of course. The reason why this was possible in Japan was that the samurai did not own land.
Unlike their Western counterparts, Japan_s rulers, the samurai, did not own land. They lived on retainers_ stipends in castle towns under a system in which the warrior and farming classes were separated. In effect, therefore, the samurai had nothing to lose. What they did have, however, was a managerial disposition and business abilities, as can be seen from the careers of men like Shibusawa and Godai. We can suppose that this managerial disposition was a product of the _weeding out_ over the years of the ability to govern, which was the duty of the samurai in the Edo era. It seems that through the refinement of this ability to govern as they fulfilled their administrative duties, the samurai developed this managerial disposition.
The Limitations of the British Model in _Otsuka_s History_
The economic historian Otsuka Hisao (1907_1996) had an enormous influence on the study of history in postwar Japan. Through the impact of studies such as his Introduction to Modern European Economic History and Basic Theory of Communities (published by Iwanami Shoten, 1981, in Japanese), as well as his translation and analysis of Max Weber_s Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus (The Spirit of Capitalism: The Max Weber Thesis in as Economic Histrical Perspective, translated by Masanori Kondo, published by Iwanami Shoten, 1982), his work became known as _Otsuka_s history,_ an accolade accorded to no other Japanese economic historian.
Those with an interest in social sciences have undoubtedly made reference to Otsuka s enlightening studies such as The Place of Man in Social Science (published by Iwanami Shoten, 1977, in Japanese) and Methodology of Social Science (published by Iwanami Shoten, 1979, in Japanese). Like Marx, Otsuka took Britain as his criterion for the analysis of modern society, painstakingly explaining the fundamentals of modernization to _backward Japan._ According to Otsuka_s simple explanation, the ideal type of man in modern society would be like Robinson Crusoe, the hero of the famous story of the same name by the English novelist Daniel Defoe (1660_1731). Otsuka describes Crusoe_s way of living as follows: _He builds his own house, surrounding it with trees. He sets up a workshop next to the house, where he makes clothes, hats and umbrellas from goatskins, as well as pottery and so On. In addition to the area enclosing his house, he makes other enclosures using fences. He makes one of them into a wheat field where he sows the wheat he found in the ship. Leaving part of the harvest as seeds, he uses the rest as food. He also turns another enclosure into pasture for livestock, catches wild goats, breeds them, and uses some of them for meat when necessary. He uses this meat to cook delicious stews in the pot he has made himself and the skin as material to make clothes, hat, umbrellas and the like. He has enclosed the land around him and can declare himself the master of this enclosure._
The key word in this summary, _enclosure,_ was a fundamental aspect of eighteenth-century British society.