How did the Japanese achieve their unrivalled position in world banking? This book provides the first full account in English of the banking industry in Japan for the century following the opening of the country to the outside world in 1859. Professor Tamaki begins by considering the period of experimentation during the Meiji Restoration which resulted in the adoption of the Gold Standard in 1891. He then offers a detailed examination of the highly profitable years up to the end of the First World War and of the subsequent crisis which was hastened by the earthquake that devastated Tokyo and Yokohama in 1923 and sealed by the financial collapse of 1927. New light is thrown on the extraordinary role played by the banking industry during the period of military expansionism which culminated with defeat in the Second World War. The book ends with an assessment of the post-war financial system which developed out of the Macarthur directives and the subsequent American 'democratisation' programme.