Shigeto Tsuru

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Shigeto Tsuru (都留 重人 Tsuru Shigeto?, March 6, 1912 – February 5, 2006) was a prominent Japanese politician and economist.[1] He was widely honoured for his scholarship (including the Presidency of the International Economic Association and received honorary degrees including one of two ever given to a Japanese by Harvard University.[2][page needed]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1912, the son of a Nagoya engineer-industrialist. While in high school in Tokyo he became politically involved in 1929–30, as a student leader in the "Anti-Imperialist Leagues", activities against the Japanese military then in the early stages of aggression towards China. He was imprisoned for several months. Then expelled from high school, he was sent abroad to America to complete his education. His undergraduate work was at Lawrence College and the University of Wisconsin in Madison.[2][page needed] His major academic studies centered around social psychology and philosophy.[2][page needed]

His first major publication in a professional journal was on the subject of The Meaning of Meaning in 1932.In his junior year he transferred to Harvard where he took his baccalaureate degree 1935 and his doctorate 1940 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he became one of the recognized leading intellectual leaders of the graduate student elite of the time like, Paul Samuelson, Richard Goodwin, Robert Bryce, Robert Triffin, Abram Bergson, John Kenneth Galbraith,Alan Sweezy, Paul Sweezy, Wolfgang Stolper, Richard A.Musgrave, Evsey Domar, James Tobin, Joe S.Bain and Robert Solow.[2][page needed]

Pre-war life[edit]

His pre-second World War published works in Marxian economic theory were regarded as particularly original and important an example being "On Reproduction Schemes" appearing in the appendix to Paul Sweezy's The Theory of Capitalist Development,1942,Schumpeter,to whose guidance Tsuru owned a great deal discussed in his History of Economic Analysis,the relation between Marx and Quesnay and wrote that on this subject" the interested reader finds all he needs in the appendix to sweezy's volume,by Shigeto Tsuru""Tsuru was actually one of the leaders in the founding of Science & Society"-A Marxian Quarterly.[2][page needed]

Personal life[edit]

Shigeto Tsuru married Masako Wada in June 1939,she was a daughter of Prominent Dr.Koroku Wada(who later became President of the Tokyo Institute of Technology),who was himself brother of Marquis Kido, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal of Japan. The Kido fmily being descendants of the Three Architects of the Meiji Restoration.Together they had three daughters.[2][page needed]

War World II period[edit]

Several months after Pearl Harbor Tsuru and his wife were repatriated as enemy aliens and went back to Japan,where he founded a Business college(later Hitotsubashi University) of which ultimately he became President. In 1944 he was drafted into the Japanese army but after three months was discharged and invited to join The Foreign office. What role he did he play there is not known, but records show that he was sent to the (Soviet Union) in March 1945, and returned to Tokyo at the end of the May air raids on that city. The train services had stopped and he had to walk the last mile to his home, when he got there he discovered that his home part of the Kido family complex had been virtually spared.[2][page needed] The role of Marquis Kido to stop the war is well known but what is not well known is that Tsuru lived in the same house as Marquis Kido,and observed all major Japanese developments at a nose length.During the occupation, Tsuru served first as an economic adviser to the Economic and Scientific Section of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. Then during the brief Socialist(coalition)Administration of the Prime Minister, (Tetsu Katayama) Tsuru was made (vice-minister of the Economic Stabilization Board 1947)at the age of 35. His work is best known for drafting the Economic White Paper of 1947.[2][page needed]

Later life[edit]

After the occupation and stabilization of Japan he rejoined the faculty of Hitotsubashi were he founded the Institute of Economic Research. When he eventually retired 1975 he had published 12 volumes in Japanese and one volume containing one third of his many English essays, seven books originally published in English, his Australian Dyason lectures, and his Italian Mattioli Lectures. Later he joined the Asahi Shimbun, a major Japanese newspaper, as editorial adviser for 10 years,and later joined and became a Professor in the faculty of International studies at Meiji Gakuin University were he retired in 1990.[citation needed]


  • On Reproduction Schemes, 1942, in Paul Sweezy, Theory of Capitalist Development
  • Has Capitalism Changed?: An International Symposium on the Nature of Contemporary Capitalism, (Iwanami, 1961).
  • Environmental Disruption: Proceedings of International Symposium, March, 1970, Tokyo, (International Social Science Council, 1970).
  • Growth and Resources Problems Related to Japan: Proceedings of Session VI of the Fifth Congress of the International Economic Association held in Tokyo, Japan, (Macmillan, 1978).
  • The political economy of the environment: The case of Japan. London : Athlone, 1999.
  • Towards a New Political Economy, 1976.
  • Institutional Economics Revisited, 1993
  • Japan's Capitalism: Creative defeat and beyond, 1993


External links[edit]