Kozo Uno

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Kozo Uno
Uno Kouzou.jpg
Kozo Uno, 1952
Born(1897-11-12)November 12, 1897
DiedFebruary 22, 1977(1977-02-22) (aged 79)
Kugenuma, Fujisawa
FieldPolitical economy
School or
Marxian economics
InfluencesKarl Marx, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Kozo Uno (宇野 弘蔵, Uno Kōzō, November 12, 1897 – February 22, 1977) was a Japanese economist and is considered one of the most important theorists on the field of Marx's theory of value. His main work Principles of Political Economy was published in 1964. Among his scholars are Thomas T. Sekine and Makoto Itoh.


Uno based his work on a rigorously Hegelian reading of Marx's Capital. This led him to his well-known conclusion that Marxian analysis had to be conducted at three separate levels:

  1. The "pure" theory of Capital, freed from the complications of history – highly abstract exercises in dialectical logic on the basic, core dynamics of capitalist economy.
  2. A "middle" level, which traces the general development of capitalism through distinct historical stages – mercantilism, classical liberalism and so on.
  3. The analysis of the 'messy' details of capitalist economy in the real world, concentrating on particular narratives rather than an overall picture.[1]

Uno and his followers have come in for criticism from the wider Marxist tradition for insisting on this separation. Simon Clarke[2] sees this schema as "scholastic formalism", and the second level as an arbitrary addition to provide a link between the other two, rather than an analytically necessary one. As Kincaid[2] points out, though, Capital is primarily a logically rather than chronologically argued work, which looks at the laws of capitalist development and draws mainly supporting evidence from historical data. Thus, the separation of the Uno school represents an acknowledgement of this logical nature, and registers the key problem of how the critique can be linked to actual economic development in a way that competing schools often cannot.

Selected publications[edit]

Main work[edit]

  • Uno, Kozo: Principles of Political Economy. Theory of a Purely Capitalist Society. Translated from Japanese by Thomas T. Sekine. Brighton, Atlantic Highlands/New Jersey 1980.
  • Uno, Kozo: The Types of Economic Policies under Capitalism. Translated from Japanese by Thomas T. Sekine and edited by John R.Bell. Leiden & Boston: Brill 2016.



  • Joe, Hyeon-soo: Politische Ökonomie als Gesellschaftstheorie. Studien zur Marx-Rezeption von Isaak Iljitsch Rubin und Kozo Uno [German], Diss. Philipps-Universität Marburg 1995.



  1. ^ Kincaid, 2006
  2. ^ a b Clarke, 1989; Kincaid 2006

External links[edit]

  • Verified, continuously updated selected bibliography with links and materials. (Broken link. See partial fix for same link at end of page for Isaak Rubin. Also check for other pages re value form school likely to need same fix)