Cooperatives and grassroots developments

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


    Early Japanese cooperatives were spontaneous initiatives inspired partly by village traditions and partly by foreign models. But the nationwide spread of cooperativism was a top-down process driven by Meiji modernizers who studied German models and saw this as the best means to strengthen the nation’s rural foundations. By 1923, Japanese cooperatives had 2.6 million members, placing the country among the world’s leading centres of cooperativism. Both prewar and postwar, Japanese cooperativism was characterized by the interplay of top-down and bottom-up forces. In the 1920s, state-sanctioned cooperatives were challenged by peasants’ unions and worker-run co-op stores; postwar, the power of the giant agricultural cooperative association Nokyo was challenged by grassroots groups with alternative visions of a rural future. This chapter explores the contending roles of cooperatives in Japan from their beginnings in the early Meiji era to contemporary consumer and alternative lifestyle co-ops.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Modern Japanese History
    Editors Tessa Morris-Suzuki
    Place of PublicationLondon
    ISBN (Print)9781315746678
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Cite this