Ch'ing China and Tokugawa Japan were unusually urbanized premodern societies where about one half of the world's urban population lived as late as 1800. Gilbert Rozman has drawn on both sociology and history to develop original methods of illuminating the historical urbanization of China and Japan and to provide a way of relating urban patterns to other characteristics of social structure in premodern societies. The author also hopes to redirect the analysis of premodern societies into areas where China and Japan can be compared with each other and with other large scale societies.
The author divides central places into seven levels and determines how many levels were present in each country century by century. Through this method he is able to demonstrate how Japan was rapidly narrowing China's lead in urbanization and show that Japan was relatively efficient in concentrating resources in high level cities. Explanations for differences in urban concentration are sought in: a general discussion of the social structure of each country; an analysis of marketing patterns; a detailed study of Chihli province and the Kantō region; an examination of regional variations; and a comparison of Peking and Edo, which were probably the world's largest cities throughout the eighteenth century.
Originally published in 1974.
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Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Gilbert Rozman: