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From the early 1920s onward, the so-called “debate on Japanese capitalism” (Nihon shihonshugi ronso) was the primary animating circuit around which the central opposition in Marxist theory between the Koza or Lectures faction and the Rono or Worker-farmer faction emerged. Subsequently, in the aftermath of the defeat and occupation of Japan, the Koza school reemerged as the hegemonic framework in Marxist historiography and Marxist theory. Essential to this school’s arguments was the tendency to identify so-called feudal remnants overlapping the contemporary mode of capitalist development. These theorists tended to identify the 1868 Meiji Restoration as an “incomplete” bourgeois revolution, one that had not succeeded in fully “modernizing” the national space, because while property relations and labor markets had been changed, the essential elements of Japanese “backwardness,” such as the existence of the emperor-system, the regional and familial nature of the political class, and paternalistic relations in industry and government, remained intact. This logic is frequently criticized as an outmoded linear historical narrative, but the nature of the “feudal remnant

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