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SATO, Masahiro

Adjunct Professor / Research Division of Economic Measurement and Statistics / Research Centre for Information and Statistics of Social Science

Socio-Economic History of Modern Japan

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Previous research

Concentrating mainly on rural areas, my research career began by participating in the historical study of processes of social change accompanying Japan’s modernization. During this time, I also developed an interest in the archiving and preservation of administrative records and personal documents used in research on regional history and have been acting as activist for archive studies.

Since taking up my post at Hitotsubashi University, my focus has shifted to the history of statistical surveys, and I have been conducting research mainly on the following four topics: (1) the first national census in Japan and the way it was received by society; (2) the characteristics and accuracy of local government documents on household taxation, which provide information on prewar income distribution; (3) the compilation process and quality of the Yearbook of Prefectural Statistics, which is being used as basic data on the prewar period; and (4) research related to the methodology and implementation of individual statistical surveys such as those on factory statistics, village surveys for the planning of local economic development projects, farm household economy surveys, etc.


Current research projects

Building on my work to date, I am presently engaged in the following projects: (1) research on the statistical surveys and methodologies implemented by the Japanese administration in Japan’s colonies during the prewar period and their reception by society; (2) research related to the history of farm household economy surveys and village surveys; and (3) research on the formation of the statistical survey system and its social infrastructure in 19th century Britain.


modernization of Japan, history of statistical surveys, population census, management of archives