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As the American effort to restructure a defeated Japan commenced, it seemed like a no-brainer that one of the first things to go was the Zaibatsu Family. Zaibatsu was the name given to the eight families which had held the monopoly on the manufacturing wealth and banking power in Japan since the mid-to-late Nineteenth Century.

"[Since the war's end] the members of Zaibatsu, or 'wealth clique', seem to have maintained their privileged position. In an exclusive and clannish nation they form a super-exclusive and super-clannish class suspended between the old nobility and the rich upper-middle class. They marry into their own clans, or other old families whenever possible. Many of them are educated abroad... Each family controls one of the six great private banks. These, in turn, control more than a third of all private bank deposits through their subsidiaries. Their trust companies receive about 70 percent of all trust deposits. Through investments and loans they control a host of manufacturing enterprises, private railroads, steamship lines, and power, light and gas companies."

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Breaking Up The 'Big Eight' (Newsweek Magazine, 1945)

Breaking Up The 'Big Eight' (Newsweek Magazine, 1945)

Breaking Up The 'Big Eight' (Newsweek Magazine, 1945)

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