Nodes in the Global Webs of Japanese Shipping

TitleNodes in the Global Webs of Japanese Shipping
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsWray, WD
JournalBusiness History
ISBN Number0007-6791
KeywordsAdvantages, and Other Services: Asia including Middle East (N75), Asia, BUSINESS, Economic History: Transport, Energy, History, HISTORY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, International trade, Japan, Ports, Professional relationships, Railroads and Other Surface Transportation (L92), Shipping, Strategic management, Studies, TECHNOLOGY, Trade

When Japanese shipping and trading firms entered the international economy in the last half of the nineteenth century, they confronted not only the global tentacles of Western firms but also the strong influence of Chinese merchants in East Asian trade. By the 1890s, however, they had bypassed the Chinese networks by joining Western commercial organisations such as international freight conferences. As their business expanded, they established branch offices in key ports. Their representatives quickly created close ties with Western counterparts and local agents. These meeting-places took on the function of nodes, where information was exchanged between a range of companies and institutions. This pattern of exchange led to extensive research by Japanese representatives that had a key role in influencing career patterns and shaping company strategy.