First Advisor

Hiro Ito

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Economics and University Honors




Economics -- Japan -- Meiji period, 1868-1912, Japan -- History -- Tokugawa period, 1600-1868, Japan -- Economic conditions -- Meiji period, 1868-1912, Japan -- Economic conditions -- 1600-1868




In this essay, I argue that the flexibility the Meiji regime embraced was the key to the successful economic development, allowing the leaders to retain continuities from the Tokugawa regime, and enabling the Meiji leaders to import advanced technology from the European powers. This essay will seek to establish a connection between the Tokugawa regime and the Meiji regime, discussing how the Tokugawa regime affected Meiji Japan and the economic effects therein. By examining two legacies left by the Tokugawa era, the education system and the outside curiosity with things of the West, I will argue that these institutions affected the Meiji economy by increasing technological growth and capabilities. This essay will show that the Tokugawa continuities had an effect on the Meiji economy, contributing to the rapid economic growth that occurred from 1868 to 1912.


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An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in University Honors and Economics and Japanese.

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