Re: a world-system study of japanese social movements

Fri, 28 Mar 1997 15:45:29 -0500 (EST)
A. Gunder Frank (

Andre Gunder Frank and Marta Fuentes
"On Studying Cycles in Social Movements"
L. Kriesberg, M. Doboswki, & I Walliman, Eds.
Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, vol. 17, 1994

contains stuff on soc movs in Eur & North Am
and on cycles in peasant movs also in Asia,Afr,Lat Am

also see
TRANSFORMING THE REVOLUTION, by S.Amin,G.Arrighi.A.Frank,I Wallerstein
Monthly Review Press 1990.

On Tue, 25 Mar 1997,
chase-dunn wrote:

> Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 18:05:38 -0500
> From: christopher chase-dunn <>
> Subject: a world-system study of japanese social movements
> Elson Boles is working on a dissertation on an important social
> movement in Japan in the late nineteenth century. Boles is looking at
> the world-system contextual factors involved in this last millinarian
> rebellion and how it was related to Japan's incorporation into the
> Europe-centered system. An abstract of his thesis follows:
> ---------
> ABSTRACT: Ph. D. Dissertation
> TITLE: REBELS, GAMBLERS, AND SILK: Agencies and Structures of the
> Japan-US
> Silk Network, 1858-1890
> AUTHOR: Elson E. Boles, Sociology, Ph. D. Candidate, State University
> of New York, Binghamton
> DEFENSE: 11 April, 1997
> In 1884, Meiji Japan's largest armed peasant uprising, involving
> 3000-7000,erupted in Saitama prefecture. The nature of the incident has
> been passionately debated among Japanese historians. The orthodoxy sees
> it as the climax of the Liberty Movement; revisionists argue it was the
> last and greatest millenarian peasant uprising.
> This study scrutinizes and resolves the debate by revealing the role of
> bakuto (gamblers) in this and other incidents tied to the Liberty
> Movement.
> The revision furthermore transcends the local focus of earlier studies
> by
> exploring the world-historical dimensions of the rebellion and related
> struggles. Social-history and world-systems
> perspectives are united through an multi-level movement from global to
> local developments, showing the world-historical dimensions of events
> and agencies and, conversely, the local faces of global-scale processes.
> The rebellion occurred as part of the Japan-US silk network's formation,
> 1860-84. The division of labor's emergence saw the decline of Chichibu
> petty sericulturists, the rise of new filatures in Japan, and
> high-technology silk weaving factories in the US. The
> interrelated class-patriarchal changes among the network's sectors
> engendered new forms of resistance, including the first known factory
> strikes in Japan, by women reelers in Kofu (1885-86), and strikes by
> silk workers in Paterson, New Jersey (1886-90).
> Meiji silk export development programs during the 1870s nurtured the
> network's formation. But Meiji state policy was less a product of
> Western ideas, as previously thought, than the reconstitution of earlier
> "domain development" strategies of Satsuma and Choshu han. Indeed,
> these domains seized power in 1868 on the basis of
> successful export-oriented accumulation 1750-1860, and then extend their
> strategies on a national scale after the Restoration.
> The retrenchment phase of modernization, 1880-86, triggered peasant debt
> deferral movements across Japan and repression of gamblers and political
> activists led to new inter-class alliances. This work explains, for the
> first time, how activists recruited
> bakuto and indebted peasants to form revolutionary armies, why the
> latter joined, and the "incidents of violence" that followed.
> Narrowing in on Chichibu with primary resources, we detail how local
> bakuto joined the Liberty Party and fused their party status with
> gambler-style chivalry. Villagers accepted redeemed bakuto as righteous
> leaders, reinvented millenarianism, and followed bakuto leaders in a
> revolt against corrupt officials and land expropriating
> creditors.
> As the last millenarian uprising in Japan, the uprising marks the
> terminus
> of Japan's incorporation into the modern world-system; the Liberty
> Movement, struggles by gamblers, and the Kofu and Paterson strikes,
> signify Japan's systemic transformation as part of the world-system.