This essay deals with the concept of “political economism” (keiseisaimin) as expressed by Dazai Shundai, one of the leading practical thinkers in the school of “ancient studies” in early eighteenth century Japan. It argues for the need to look seriously at “traditional” schemes of political conceptualization. Exploring Dazai's analytical perception of political structure and of how political structure should perform in concrete historical situations, the essay shows how Dazai takes the logic of “ancient studies” beyond agrarianism and status quo economics toward die possibility of permitting maximum economic development as a function of politics.

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