Population, resources and female labor in the raw silk industry of Nagano in Meiji Japan

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Gendered realities in local regions are a prominent issue in today's global economy. However, the process of globalization in the late-19th century already involved the local Nagano women in an indispensable role in Japan's raw silk industry. This paper studies the interplay between population growth and relatively limited resources in Nagano vis-à-vis the demand for female labor during the Meiji era, when Japan became a major raw silk producer. The local/regional constraints in Nagano interacted with economic globalization and gave Nagano its position in the global market. Therefore, we cannot ignore the consequences of local/regional constraints and advantages in global processes on female workers. Population pressure and environmental squeeze are found to have been important forces that integrated the local and regional in the global process of industrialization and trade, and together, they produced social outcomes, such as gender hierarchies in globalization and glocalization processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-39
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Globalization
  • Meiji Era
  • Nagano
  • Population
  • Raw silk industry
  • Regional reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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