History of Asia

Before the war, Japan was a free society closer to the United States! ??

Speaking of Japan before World War II, militarism without freedom I feel that the post-war values ​​of the present age are affirmed.

Was Japan before the war a suffocating country as you imagined?

This time, I would like to write about the differences between prewar and postwar Japan.

How to work before and after the war

The current employment system of Japanese companies is basically [ lifetime employment However, in prewar Japan, there were many people who changed jobs like American society, and employment liquidity was high . that's right.

1920 In Japan, the turnover rate of factory workers reached about 80%. Workers around this time were changing jobs to better-treated companies as their skills became more proficient.

Also, from the Taisho era to the Showa era, it was an era when it was easy to dismiss employees, and companies often said that they would dismiss one-sidedly. I was dismissed.

In order to prevent the outflow of talented people with high employment liquidity, companies will begin to arrange various benefits such as wage forms and retirement plans according to the number of years of service. 1929 Konosuke Matsushita of Matsushita Electric Co., Ltd. decided to manage the company without cutting the head during the Great Depression because of the high liquidity of employment.

When the Sino-Japanese War began in 1937, labor shortages at companies became a problem, and the government issued employee employment restrictions and wage control orders to regulate and manage the working styles of workers. .. This government policy will later spread labor practices such as lifetime employment to Japan.

In other words, it is also unique to Japan [ lifetime employment ] Labor practices were created during the war and became established after the war. Until then, Japan had the highest job change rate among developed countries and was a free society like the United States.

Prewar common sense

Now that you've seen how you work, let's compare it in terms of culture.

To get a feel for the common people, look at the magazines that sold at the time.

The popular magazine [King], which was first published in 1924, had sales of 1.4 million copies at that time.

Almost no military matters were written in the King, and he said that the famous February 26 Incident was only mentioned in the May 1, 1945 issue, two months after the incident. increase. The coup d'etat itself was subdued in three days, and it seems that it was only a transient incident for the general public.

If Japan at that time was militaristic and had no freedom, it would be impossible for such an incident to be taken up to the extent that it was written lightly. From that, it can be inferred that Japan at that time was a society with freedom.

Prewar medical corporation is a corporation

1880 Up to generations, over 200 public hospitals had. However, due to financial difficulties, hospitals were closed one after another, and in 1930 there were only about 80. Meanwhile, a private hospital 1888 In 1936, there were 339 hospitals in 3000 . It has increased to more than the hospital.

The operation of the hospital was centered on a joint-stock company, and the medical expenses of the prewar municipal hospital were free prices, and it was a self-paying medical system like in modern America. The increase in public hospitals was due to the increase in the number of people injured in the Sino-Japanese War, and it was the influence of the controlled society during the war that the state controlled medical care.

Prewar Japanese society was closer to the United States

As mentioned above, prewar Japan had a more free atmosphere than modern society, had a strong spirit of self-help efforts, and seemed to be a country closer to the United States.

Compared to prewar Japan, postwar Japan is a [ socialist country ] I feel that it is not a mistake because it is often described as. Most of the systems that seem to be common sense today were created in the wake of the previous war, and we are living in the same system as in an emergency.

In that sense, we modern humans can be said to live under militarism with restrained freedom. Now that the Heisei era is over and the era of Reiwa has come, it may be important to learn from history and make Japan a more free country.