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Department of Japanese History, Faculty of Letters, Keio University
Lab of Modern Japanese History

Research Outlines

Professor: Shigehiko Ioku

My research considers how the traditional Japanese industry contributed to the modernization of Japan. Specifically, I am conducting research on the brewing industry, which has utilized the environment and culture of Japan and is engrained as a part of the Japanese national character. I pay particular attention to the soy sauce industry, which has made seasonings indispensable for Japanese food. While the mechanization of the soy sauce industry was delayed, it grew as a handcraft industry. Today, soy sauce has become a truly global seasoning.


Associate Professor: Kiyotaka Maeda

I am researching how local commodity market trends and related policies promoted economic advancement in Japanese colonies, analyzing the relationship between the expansion of colonial trade in pre-war Japan and the quantitative/qualitative transformation of local commodity markets, using salt and rice as examples of primary commodities. To this end, I am surveying and collecting historical materials that exist in Japan as well as in former colonies, attempting a multifaceted approach that includes qualitative analysis using descriptive materials such as letters and handwritten notes as well as quantitative analysis using ledgers and price data.

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Contact Information

Lab of Modern Japanese History
Department of Japanese History
Faculty of Letters
Keio University

〒108-8345
2-15-45 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan


Website (Japanese only)
http://web.flet.keio.ac.jp/jhis/