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Paternalism in the Japanese Economy: Anthropological Studies of Oyabun-Kobun Patterns
by John Bennett and Iwao Ishino
University of Minnesota Press, 1963
Paper: 978-0-8166-6685-0

Paternalism in the Japanese Economy was first published in 1963.This is a study of the Japanese social institution known as the oyabun-kobun system, which has been important in the development of the Japanese agricultural and industrial economy. The term oyabun-kobun implies a system of relationships among employers and employees which is modeled on the typical feudal, paternalistic Japanese family relationships. Under this system, for example, a labor manager and the laborers he controls are governed by a highly developed pattern of duties, privileges, and ceremonial activities not unlike those which prevail among members of a primary family or kin group.The study is based on research which was carried out in Japan by the Public Opinion and Sociological Research division of SCAP, the American occupation authority, following World War II. Mr. Bennett served as chief of this division during part of its tenure, and Mr. Ishino was a social science researcher in the division.In addition to the intrinsic value of the study, it is of interest also because of the unusual circumstances under which the data were collected, during the military occupation of the country. The authors describe the conditions as a prelude to their presentation of the study itself.

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