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Ethical Capitalism: Shibusawa Eiichi and Business Leadership in Global Perspective

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Shibusawa Eiichi (1840–1931) was a Japanese banker and industrialist who spearheaded the modernization of Japanese industry and finance during the Meji Restoration. He founded the first modern bank in Japan and his reforms introduced double entry accounting and joint-stock corporations to the Japanese economy. Today, he is known as the “father of Japanese capitalism.”

Ethical Capitalism is a volume of essays that tackles the thought, work, and legacy of Shibusawa Eiichi and offers international comparisons with the Japanese experience. Eiichi advocated for gapponshugi, a principle that emphasized developing the right business, with the right people, in service to the public good. The contributors build a historical perspective on morality and ethics in the business world that, unlike corporate social responsibility, concentrates on the morality inside firms, industries, and private-public partnerships. Ethical Capitalism is not only a timely work; it is a necessary work, in a rapidly globalizing world where deregulation and lack of oversight risk repeating the financial, environmental, and social catastrophes of the past.

Author: Fridenson Patrick
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9781487522964
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2017




1 Tensions between the Open Market Model and the Closed “Zaibatsu” Model

Shimada Masakazu

2 Harmonization between Morality and Economy

Tanaka Kazuhiro

3 Public-Private Connections and Boundaries: From Shibusawa Eichii’s Experience to a Global Historical Perspective

Patrick Fridenson

4 Capitalism by the “Visible Hand”: The Joint-Stock Company System, Business Leaders (Zaikaijin), and Shibusawa Eiichi

Miyamoto Matao

5 “Obtaining Wealth through Fair Means”: Putting Shibusawa Eiichi’s Views on Business Morality in Context

Janet Hunter

6 Shibusawa Eiichi’s View of Business Morality in Global Society

Kimura Masato

7 Gapponshugi in Global Perspective: Debating the Responsibility of Capitalism

Geoffrey Jones

8 The Crisis of Capitalism and the Gapponshugi of Shibusawa Eiichi

Kikkawa Takeo


Patrick Fridenson is a professor of international business history in the Centre de Recherches Historique at L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris.

Kikkawa Takeo is a professor in Graduate School of Innovation Studies, Tokyo University of Science.

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