Japanese Textile IndustryJapan
The industrial revolution first appeared in textiles, including cotton and especially silk, which was based in home workshops in rural areas. By the 1890s, Japanese textiles dominated the home markets and competed successfully with British products in China and India, as well. Japanese shippers were competing with European traders to carry these goods across Asia and even to Europe. As in the West, the textile mills employed mainly women, half of them under age twenty. They were sent there by their fathers, and they turned over their wages to their fathers. Japan largely skipped water power and moved straight to steam powered mills, which were more productive, and which created a demand for coal.