The early period of the Meiji modernization offers various examples to examine links between knowledge and (political) power. Paraphrasing Barshay, 'public men' in the Meiji period were both educators and state bureaucrats.
Being an educator and having influence on national affairs as a state bureaucrat represent the dual role of the modernizers (or enlighteners, keimou in Japanese) in the early decades in Meiji Japan. Tajiri Inajiro (1850-1923) who was an educator in two universities and one of the few Western educated bureaucrats in the Ministry of Finance, until recently has not attracted scholars' interests. Historians usually focus on the great men who had participated in the Restoration movement and had some economic or financial administrative experience in the pre-Meiji period.
This presentation elaborates Tajiri Inajiro's central role as a 'faceless bureaucrat' working in the shadows. His achievement proves that the financial background of the modernization has not received sufficient attention by scholars since he was one of the founders of the modern fiscal and financial structure in Japan, which in many ways show strong similarities to the contemporary state finances.
Dr. Katalin Ferber graduated in Hungary. She has been working for a decade in Japan as a comparative economic historian. Currently she is an academic co-ordinator in the new East Asian Programme at Musashi University. From next April she is a full-time employee at Waseda University. Her recent publications include an article on the Japanese Postal Savings System and its origin and a manuscript on the pre-war history of the Deposit Fund (Yokinbu)