Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Hand looms, power looms, and changing production organizations: the case of the Kiryu weaving district in the early 20th century Japan

By Tomoko Hashino and Keijiro Otsuka


This study finds that the development process of the Kiryu silk weaving district in Japan from 1895 to 1930 can be divided at least into the two phases, i.e., Smithian growth based on the inter-firm division of labor using hand looms and Schumpeterian development based on factory system using power looms. Weaving manufacturers-cum-contractors led Smithian growth by organizing sub-contracts with out-weavers in rural villages and grew faster than factory production systems. Newly emerged joint stock firms played a role of genuine entrepreneurs by realizing significant scale economies. During this new phase, weaving manufacturers-cum-contractors survived and also introduced new production system

Topics: D204 Modern History, DS Asia, HC Economic History and Conditions, HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Publisher: London School of Economics and Political Science
Year: 2012
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online

Suggested articles


  1. (2007a) “The Rise of Power-Loom Factory in the Traditional Silk-Weaving District,” doi
  2. (1916). (forthcoming) “Institutionalising Technical Gunma Prefectural Government
  3. (2011). Agglomeration or Selection?: The Case of the Japanese Silk-Reeling Clusters, doi
  4. (2011). Beyond Marshallian Agglomeration Economies: The Role of the Local Trade Association in a Meiji Japan Weaving District doi
  5. (1967). Choki Keizai Tokei 8: Bukka [Estimates of Long-Term Economic Statistics of Japan Since 1868 8: Prices] (Tokyo: Toyo Keizai Shinposha)
  6. (1943). Chusho Kogyo to Ton’ya no Kino: Toku ni Kiryu, Ashikaga Orimonogyo ni tsuite,” [Small-Scale Industry and the functions of Wholesalers: with special reference to Kiryu and Ashikaga Weaving Industry] Keizai Ronso [Kyoto Economic Review]
  7. (2011). Cluster-Based Industrial Development: A Comparative Study of Asia and Africa doi
  8. (2006). Cluster-Based Industrial Development: An East Asian Model doi
  9. (1995). Collective Efficiency: Growth path for Small-Scale Industry,” doi
  10. (1983). Conditions for technological diffusion: case of power looms,”
  11. (1988). From Putting-out to the Factory: A Cotton Weaving District doi
  12. Gunma Prefectural Government (1903-1931) Gunmaken Tokeisho [Statistical Survey of .Gunma Prefecture].
  13. (1896). Gunmaken Kangyo Nenpo [Yearbook of Promoting Industry in Gunma Prefecture].
  14. (1904). Gunmaken Orimonogyo Enkaku Chosasho [History of Weaving Industry in Gunma Prefecture].
  15. (1940). Hensankai [Editorial Association of the History of Kiryu Silk Weaving Industry]
  16. (2009). Industrial Districts and Regional Clusters,” doi
  17. (2007). Keizai Hatten to Sanchi, Shijo, Seido: Meijiki Kinu Orimonogyo no Shinka to dainamizumu [Economic Development, Industrial Districts, Markets, and Institutions: The Evolution and Dynamics in the Silk-Weaving Industry in Meiji Period]
  18. (1998). Local Trade Associations (Dogyo Kumiai) in Prewar Japan,”
  19. (1977). Mechanical Power in the Industrialization of doi
  20. (2007). Microfirms and Industrial Districts in Japan: The Dynamics of the doi
  21. (2011). Nihon Orimono Gaisha no Gijutsu to Keiei”
  22. (1998). On Competition (Boston:
  23. (1982). Proprietary Capitalism: The Textile Manufacture at Philadelphia, 1800-1885 (Cambridge: doi
  24. (2002). Shonin no Seisanteki Kino ni tsuite,” [Manufacturing Functions of Traders], Osaka Shogo Daigaku Shogo-shi Hakubutsukan Kiyo [Bulletin of
  25. (1987). Technology, Transaction Costs, and the Transition to Factory Production in the British Silk Industry, doi
  26. (1999). The Cutting Edge: Collective Efficiency doi
  27. (1951). The Division of Labor is Limited by the doi
  28. (2010). The Importance of Consular Reports for the Export Growth of Japanese Silk Fabric Habutae
  29. (1990). The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress (Oxford: doi
  30. (2003). Women and the Labor Market in Japan’s Industrialising Economy: The Textile Industry before The Pacific War (London: doi
  31. (1999). World of Possibilities: Flexibility and Mass Production in Western Industrialization (Cambridge: doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.