have had for their role in Japan's imperialist economics. Indeed, the book ends rather abruptly with a brief treatment of the role of the village in imperialism and war (focusing mainly on emigration). Japanese scholars have argued that the war was in fact the culmination of trends that were centered in the countryside: the indoctrination of rural populations into the "emperor-system," the strains caused by "feudal remnants" in the countryside, the consolidation by the government of a system of rural fascism, and the sense of crisis engendered by the rural depression. The book also leaves some important questions unanswered. Francks argues that the special model of "pluriactivity" adopted by Japanese farm households explains the persistence of the small-scale family farm in Japan, right up to the present day. This argument does not take account of vital factors in the postwar era that have encouraged this trend: namely, the land reform and accompanying legislation making large landholdings illegal, and the support of the Liberal Democratic Party for the rural sector due to the weighting of rural votes. Even in the prewar period, "pluriactivity" is not in itself sufficient to explain the persistence of small-scale landholding. Just because farm families
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Feb 4, 2008
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