The purpose of this paper is to examine several plans for regulating the electric power industry which were proposed by managers of five big electric power companies, Toho Electric Power Co., Tokyo Electric Light Co., Ujigawa Electric Power Co., Great Consolidated Electric Power Co. and Nippon Electric Power Co., in the 1920's and the 1930's. The managers mentioned in this paper are Yasuzaemon Matsunaga, Shohachi Wakao, Seinosuke Go, Ichizo Kobayashi, Yasushige Hayashi, Senzaburo Kageyama, Momosuke Fukuzawa, Jiro Masuda, Shinnosuke Arimura, Yoshizo Ikeo, Sataro Fukunaka, Kumaki Naito and Yoshijiro Ishikawa. The commonly accepted theory asserts that the managers of five big electric power companies devoted themselves to gain maximum profits at the expense of the public interests in those days, and that therefore the electric power industry was inevitably to be put under government control in 1938. The conclusion of this paper is, however, fairly different from those assertions. In reality the managers of five big electric power companies were relatively aware of the responsibility of public utility enterprises, and made efforts to supply plenty and lowpriced electricity. To give an example Yasuzaemon Matsunaga who was the vice-president of Toho Electric Power Co. announced Denryoku Tosei Shiken (the Private Opinion for Regulating the Electric Power Industry) in May, 1928, in which he emphasized the necessity of improving electricity service through introducing a new system. The so-called Denryoku Saihensei (the Reorganization of the Electric Power Industry) in 1950 was enforced according to this Matsunaga's opinion.
Early in the 18th century the House of Mitsui created a divisionalized administrative structure with a general office known as Omotokata in order to control many operating shops. By 1729, Mtsui's divisional structure came to consist of two major operating divisions-Hon-dana Ichimaki (the chain of silk fabric shops and a cotton fabric shop) and Ryogae-dana Ichimaki (the chain of exchange houses and silk commission houses). This paper focuses on the accounting systems in Ryogae-dana Ichimaki from 1729 through 1870. The research for this paper is based on many accounting reports that have survived and are preserved in the House of Mitsui Archives Collection at the Mitsui Research Institute for Social and Economic History (Mitsui Bunko), Tokyo. The structure of Mitsui under Omotokata resembled a divisional system as a whole, while Ryogae-dana Ichimaki may be characterized as a scaled down divisional structure. Each shop in Ryogae-dana Ichimaki had an independent accounting system, although Kyoto Ryogae-dana (Kyoto Exchange House) collected and distrubuted the residual profit of its affiliated shops. A part of the semiannual net income of the affiliates was set aside as reserves for their bad debts and building repairs. The residual profit of the affiliates was transferred to Kyoto Ryogaedana and added to its net income. A part of its total profit was set aside as reseves for its own bad debts and building repairs and reserves for employees' bonuses and retirement allowances of both its own and its affiliates. Although Omotokata was divided in a way like a spin-off of today in 1774, and reconsolidated in 1797, the accounting systems in Ryogae-dana Ichimaki were virtually unchanged till 1870.