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A field of tea plants with Mt. Fuji in the background.
  1. Land Reform in Postwar Japan
  2. Why Japan's Land Reform Succeeded
  3. Wet Rice Agriculture
  4. Transplanting Rice Seedlings
  5. Early Mechanization of Agriculture
  6. Reorganization of Farm Land
  7. Innovations in Fruit and Vegetable Farming
  8. Rice Rationing and Subsidies
  9. Japan’s Shrinking Farm Population
  10. Farm Household Size and the Problem of Succession
  11. Who Farms in Japanese Farm Households?
  12. San-Chan Nōgyō
  13. The Changing Japanese Diet
  14. Dairy Farming in Japan
  15. What Dairy Products Do Japanese Eat?
  16. Beef Cattle in Japan
  17. The Changing Income of Farm Households
  18. Raising Silkworms in Japan
  19. Food Self-Sufficiency in Japan
  20. Food Self-Sufficiency in Rice
  21. Organic Farming in Japan
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A farmer and a horse-drawncart on a road between rice fields.
Horse carts loaded with harvested rice cross footpaths between the rice fields. Photo from 1955.
Photo from Mainichi Shimbun.
Why Japan's Land Reform Succeeded
Under Japan's 1946 land reform, landlords who owned more than the permitted amount had to sell the excess land to the government at a fixed price. The government then sold it at the same price, giving first preference to any tenant who had been farming the land. Japan’s land reform succeeded for two reasons. The first reason is that the Occupation had the power to impose and enforce a law that hurt the interests of a very powerful class of people, wealthy landlords, in order to bring about social and economic change. The second reason is more complex. At the time the land reform law was passed in October, 1946, it provided reasonable compensation to the landlords who had to sell their land to the government. But from 1946-48 Japan experienced rampant inflation, which reduced the value of the yen. As a result, while most of the buyers were able to pay off their loans within two or three years after they purchased the land, the money landlords received for their land was worth much less.
Special Terms: land reform  |  absentee landlord  |  tenant farmer  |  fixed price

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