Talk focuses on Japanese economic history
Posted March 2, 2010; 12:22 p.m.
Historian Tetsuo Najita will present a lecture titled "Ordinary Economies in Japan" at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, in 202 Jones Hall.
Najita is the Robert S. Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in History, East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the College at the University of Chicago. His 2009 book, "Ordinary Economies in Japan," explores a powerful theme in the economic thought and practice of ordinary citizens in the late Tokugawa period and early modern Japan. He examines commoners' writings on the virtues of commerce, the reconstruction of villages, and groups offering credit and loans -- particularly the traditional cooperative, the ko, which citizens created to save one another in times of famine and fiscal emergency without turning to their government. His lecture will cover the relationships between economics, ethics and knowledge as well as discussing issues of poverty, capitalism and modernity.