The Entrepreneur Who Built Modern Japan

The Entrepreneur Who Built Modern Japan

Shibusawa Eiichi

Shimada Masakazu
Translated by Paul Narum

Japan Library series
Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture


¥3,300 + tax

ISBN 9784916055798
220 mm x 148 mm / 196 pp. / March 2017

In this penetrating biography of Shibusawa Eiichi (1840–1931), one of Japan's foremost entrepreneurs, Shimada Masakazu traces Shibusawa's youth, when he witnessed the decay of Japan's feudal society and experienced the benefits of modernization at first hand in Europe; his service in the Ministry of Finance of the new Meiji government in its early years; and his venture into business and involvement in literally hundreds of companies as he set about building the roots of modern corporate Japan. Shimada also looks closely at Shibusawa's social activities and his insistence that economics and morals are inseparable. In troubled times like the present, when the limits of capitalism are being seen around the world, Shibusawa's vision is as relevant as ever.

SHIMADA Masakazu

Born in Tokyo in 1961, Shimada Masakazu received his MA in economics from the Economics Department of the Waseda University Graduate School. He took all the credits in the PhD course in management at the Institute of Economics Studies at Meiji University, leaving school in midcourse, eventually getting the PhD in management from the same university. Currently, he is professor of Business Administration at Bunkyo Gakuin University. He was also visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in 1998 and research fellow at Hitotsubashi University Center for Japanese Business Studies from 2009-2014. He primarily conducts historical studies on Shibusawa Eiichi's corporate activities, as well as research on the optical instrument industry.

*information as of time of publication


Japan Library series
Business & Economics

Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture

¥3,300 + tax
ISBN 9784916055798
220 mm x 148 mm / 196 pp. / March 2017

ISBN 9784866580043 (ePub)
ISBN 9784916055910 (PDF)

Introduction / 1. From Farm Boy to Shogunate Vassal: Seeking an Outlet for His Talents / 2. Leader of the Meiji Business World: Developing the Mechanisms for an Open Economy / 3. Shibusawa’s Personal Network / 4. Politics for the Benefit of the Private Sector / 5. Contribution to Nation Building through Social and Public Enterprises / Epilogue: Shibusawa’s Vision of Modern Society / Further Reading / Timeline of Shibusawa Eiichi’s Life / Bibliography / Index

"The book's clear narrative of Shibusawa's life story and strong analysis of Shibusawa's strategies for addressing the political, economic, and ethical problems that entrepreneurs faced in Meiji Japan will certainly reward the reader with new insights into this fascinating period of Japanese and world history."

John H. Sagers
Linfield College
Education About Asia 23, no. 2




Original Japanese Edition


島田昌和 著

岩波書店 刊


Related reads