This study analyses the ecomic thought in Japan in the critical period from 1930 to 1945. It pays particular attention to how the contemporary Japanese received European and American ideas about the transformation of capitalism from a liberal to controlled or managed ecomy, and how they applied them to the ecomic system in Japan. They were interested in English thoughts for the reform of capitalism by the evolutionary ways: those of J. M. Keynes in his The End of Laissez-Faire, reformism of G.D.H. Cole and others. German thought of W. Rathenau and W. Sombart attracted the attention of reform-minded Japanese. The influence of National Socialism on them was far-reaching. This study analyses in detail how they accepted Nazism and amalgamated it into a traditional style of totalitarianism under the emperor system.
Osamu Yanagisawa studied Economics at Tokyo University, where he also received his PhD. Afterwards he worked in Nuremberg (Germany) by the scholarship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung and taught Economic History, mainly at Tokyo Metropolitan University. He is now Professor Emeritus.