Seminar Series

Infectious Diseases & Management: A Retrospective Look at Japanese Society before World War II

Wednesday, 12 May 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Zoom Webinar
  • Takashi Shimizu Professor, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, The University of Tokyo

In Japan (as well as in other countries) before World War II, people had been suffered from infectious diseases – such as the Spanish flu, Tuberculosis (TB), or Dysentery and resulting high risks of losing their lives, health or money. Japanese companies as well as their stakeholders – such as employees, consumers and shareholders – had to cope with such risks and a future uncertainty caused by them. In this seminar, I will investigate how they dealt with such risks and uncertainty, and try to show that they built mutual trusts and established cooperative relationships to manage such risks and uncertainty. I will also discuss what are lessons we can learn from history to survive in the era of COVID-19.


Takashi Shimizu (Ph.D. in economics, The University of Tokyo) is Professor of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo. He is a scholar of management and business history who is specialized in corporate systems and interactions between legal systems and corporate behaviors. Recently he published a book titled “感染症と経営:戦前日本企業は「死の影」といかに 向き合ったか (Infectious Diseases and Management: How Japanese Companies coped with the Shadow of Death before WWII)” from Chuo-Keizaisha Publishing.