In the 17th century, after a long series of conflicts that ended in a unified Japan, peace finally came to this country. Commerce flourished. Wealthy women spent money on exquisite kimonos and modeled their original designs at fashion shows. Imports surged of Chinese “white” silk yarn, which Japan paid for in precious metals. A prominent scholar of the time, Miyazaki Yasusada, justified such trade by arguing that you cannot eat or wear gold or silver.
Japanese consumers can be lavish spenders — when they are given an opportunity. I see one coming.
Many would find this hard to believe. For much of the 20th century Japan’s growth was driven by exports, and consumption relative to gross domestic product has been around 55 percent since 1980.… Seguir leyendo »