By Kevin C. Murphy
American retailers validated buying and selling businesses within the ports of Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki which operated from 1859-1899 till the repeal of the Unequal Treaties. individuals of a privileged, semi-colonial neighborhood, the retailers shaped the most important crew of usa citizens in nineteenth century Japan. during this first book-length remedy of this workforce, Kevin Murphy explores their interactions with the japanese within the treaty port method, how the japanese management manipulated them to its personal ends, and the way the retailers themselves outlined the constraints of yank company in Japan via their ambiguous yet deep main issue with order and chance, restraint and dominance, and conservatism and dominance.
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Additional info for American Merchant Experience in 19th Century Japan
More than half of these men came from the New England or Mid-Atlantic states, 17 percent came from the east north central region, and 23 percent came from the south. Forty-one percent of their fathers were businessmen, 39 percent farmers. In family class or status, 20 20 THE AMERICAN MERCHANT EXPERIENCE percent came from upper class backgrounds, 44 percent from the middle class, and 36 percent from the lower class. 20 This composite profile probably describes the men attracted to Japan’s treaty ports in the early years.
Although the foreign settlements in Japan began at different times, certain general features were common to all. The Japanese government was responsible for the expense and preparation of the settlement sites; no Japanese could occupy land inside the 32 THE AMERICAN MERCHANT EXPERIENCE settlements; the administration of the settlements was separate from native Japanese municipalities; all land rented in perpetuity by foreigners was subject only to a fixed ground rent per tsubo (about 6 feet square) which did not change, even when the land was improved; and the Japanese government eventually bought all the land in the foreign concessions, though some was initially owned by individual Japanese.
Citizens at the port, wrote to the local foreign chamber of commerce asking for a list of Americans residing outside the foreign concession. 84 The foreign communities in the open cities of Osaka and Tokyo highlighted the problem of counting individuals outside the foreign concessions. 85 The sheer number of American firms in the ports at any given time suggests that the consular registrations grossly underestimate the number of Americans engaged in trade of one kind or another, as well as the total Western population in the ports.