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From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister: Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes (Harvard East Asian Monographs) (英語) ハードカバー – 2007/9/30

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Smethurst's biography is a major achievement reflecting some 20 years of work. Not to exclude the general reader--the book is a very good read--Takahashi's biography should interest not only Japanologists, but also students of economic history everywhere. Smethurst admits that it was difficult to balance the anecdotes of Takahashi's adventures with the necessary analysis of his historic accomplishments. He has succeeded, giving us a wise and immensely competent biography of a great Japanese and a vibrant human being. (Rod Armstrong Asahi Shimbun 2008-02-16)

Japan emerged from worldwide economic depression in the 1930s more successfully and quickly than the other modern world economies. Without denying the role of rapid militarization in prompting economic growth, this new biography of Japan's seven-time finance minister shows how Takahashi's countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies overcame a steep deflationary spiral and in the process engineered a remarkable record of growth built on a novel deficit spending approach... In telling Takahashi's story, Smethurst uncovers some of the pushes and pulls shaping Japan's modern economic growth, and it is a story he tells well. (W. D. Kinzley Choice 2008-05-01)


Richard J. Smethurst is Professor of History and UCIS Research Professor, University of Pittsburgh.


  • ハードカバー: 377ページ
  • 出版社: Harvard University Asia Center; New.版 (2007/9/30)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0674026012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674026018
  • 発売日: 2007/9/30
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 2.5 x 14.6 x 24.1 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 4.0  レビューをすべて見る (1 件のカスタマーレビュー)
  • Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 176,202位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
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5つ星のうち 4.0


2 人中、2人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。 投稿者 二村 泰弘 投稿日 2010/6/10
形式: ペーパーバック
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4 人中、4人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Beautifully written, superb research 2010/4/4
投稿者 Ian C. Ruxton - (
形式: ペーパーバック
For anybody interested in Japanese history from 1868 (the start of the Meiji era) till the 1930s, and especially the financial aspects thereof, this fascinating biography is a must-read. One curiosity is the mention of Sir Ewen Cameron (1841-1908), head of the London branch of HSBC and great-great-grandfather of David Cameron the present leader of the UK Conservative party, who assisted Takahashi with loans for the Russo-Japanese War, though the link is not specifically stated. I was also personally disappointed that there was only a brief mention of Kaneko Kentaro who travelled from Japan to the U.S. on the same boat as Takahashi in February-March 1904. (See Masayoshi Matsumura, Baron Kaneko and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05): A Study in the Public Diplomacy of Japan which I translated into English.)

It has taken 20 years to produce this book, and the result is a masterpiece. We follow Takahashi Korekiyo (1854-1936) from humble samurai beginnings all the way to the top of the political ladder - seven times finance minister and once briefly prime minister. We learn how he fell in his youth into near-slavery - a three year contract of 'indentured servitude' from which he ran away - in San Francisco, learned English unconventionally but most effectively through direct contact with foreigners in Japan, taught English at his own school and at universities, translated and interpreted, wrote Japan's first patent laws, briefly managed a failing silver mine in Peru, entered the Bank of Japan and helped to construct the Tokyo head office through his organisational skills, raised 47% of the funds needed for Japan's war effort when the country was almost bankrupt during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) and came to be called 'Japan's Keynes' before his assassination by army fanatics on February 26, 1936.

Takahashi was a true 'man of the world', entirely comfortable with foreigners (non-Japanese) and self-educated - he never studied at a university. He led a very full and tumultuous life with many ups and downs, but always - as the author says - managed to pick himself up, learn from setbacks and come back stronger than ever. He fought a hard and lonely battle against militarism in the 1930s and paid the ultimate price. It is a matter for rejoicing that this heroic and important figure is able, thanks to this most readable study, to take his rightful place in Japan's modern history.
Proof That Japan's Samurai Legacy is Also Its Worst Enemy 2015/6/23
投稿者 Greg Afuso - (
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
A fascinating biography, but not without my own points of contention. I have in particular three points of departure from Professor Smethhursts interpretation of the man and the zeitgeist. Number one: Like Chiune Sugihara the famed Japanese diplomat and contemporary of Takahashi, Korekiyo absorbed some fundamental Christian virtues from being exposed to Christianity. The Christian virtues of doing the right thing in-spite of popular or societal opinion; Not being afraid to fail or the fear of public humiliation in having to start over; and the choosing humanitarian values over professional advancement in the all-important Japanese hierarchical pecking order - are not Japanese traits much less Japanese 'Samurai-Bushido' virtues. Number two: The book failed to capture the 'Gambari' Japanese spirit of the time which saw an entire generation of Japanese go from a medieval society to a modern one in less than fifty years. Yes, attacking Pearl Harbor was incredibly stupid, but my grandparents and their peers laboring in the fields of the plantations of Hawaii cheered and were overwhelmed by a sense of pride in witnessing what they understood to be a Japanese David standing up to the racist, bigoted and condescending Franco-Dutch-Anglo-American Goliath who claimed democracy and egalitarianism while in reality practicing economic slavery over their perceived racial inferiors in colonies around the world. Finally, there is a decidedly absent emphasis on what the Manchurian colonial acquisition did for the Japanese economy in 1931-32. In conjunction with Keynesian policies implemented by Takahashi it opened a migration door for thousands of unemployed Japanese who were eager to exploit the newly minted colony. I would, however, definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in biographical reads on fascinating historical personalities.
An extraordinary man 2013/3/29
投稿者 M. Lathan - (
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
This is a very well written book - a biography of an almost larger that life character set against a background of tumultuous history, economics and international finance. I highly recommend it.
Great. Not easily accessible topic 2014/11/16
投稿者 paul herche - (
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
Great. Not easily accessible topic.
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