The Japanese aggression in Manchuria in 1931 was in this context, and was justified on the basis of the Manchurian-Mongolian seimeisen or 'lifeline' argument - the idea that Japan's economy was deadlocked. Three factors creating this deadlock loomed large - the shortage of raw materials in Japan, the rapidly expanding Japanese population, and the division of the world into economic blocs.
In this volume, we identify a possible convergence between economic anthropology, economic sociology and institutional economics, yielding an alternative version of economic knowledge to challenge orthodoxy. Agreeing on a common label for this enterprise matters less than identifying clear questions for collaborative inquiry. This short history of economic anthropology is offered as a contribution to that end.
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On the US side, there was prejudice and misconception, but the Japanese government was also misled by military factions, who had learned the wrong lessons from their two short imperial wars with China and Russia. They believed that Allied weakness in south east Asia and American isolationist sentiment would mean another short war.