From Farmer to Financial Giant: Shibusawa Ei'ichi's Blend of Confucianism and Capitalism in the Industrialization of Japan

Shibusawa Ei'ichi (1840-1931) was one of the most important financiers and industrialists in Japan's modern economic transformation. During his career as the head of the Dai-Ichi Bank, Shibusawa helped to finance and launch modern enterprises in a variety of industries including banking, insurance, textiles, and railroads. In many speeches, Shibusawa exhorted business leaders to follow the ethical principles contained in ​The Analects of Confucius​. This lecture investigates why Shibusawa would continue to promote Confucian ideas while working to dismantle the samurai-dominated feudal social hierarchy which Japanese Confucian elites had long supported.