The formative process of the Nissan Zaibatsu must be examined from two historical points ; first, the business activities of Kuhara Kôgyô (Kuhara Mining Co., established in December, 1905, and later reorganized into Nissan), second, the entrepreneurial performance of Yoshisuke Ayukawa, the founder of the Nissan Zaibatsu, before he overtook the management of Kuhara Kôgyô. The formation of Nissan may be considered as a product of both activities stated above, that is, as a result of Kuhare Kôgyô's business combined with the entrepreneurial farsightedness of Ayukawa. Author investigated the process of the development of Kuhara Kôgyô before it was reorganized into Nippon Sangyô Co., as a kôshû mochikabu kaisha (Holding company with a number of mass shareholders) in December 1928 and tried to make clear the meaning of its reform and the resulting characteristics of the Nissan Zaibatsu. Author described only the historical facts in the development of Kuhara Kôgyô and presented rather detailed analysis of Ayukawa's performance.
Although a number of propositions have been made concerning the relationship between “ideas” and “interests”, the concept of “polar coordination” advanced by Max Weber is most persuasive. Otto Hintze summarized this concept as follows : “Wherever interests are vigorously pursued, an ideology tends to be developed also to give meaning, reenforcement and justification to these interests......And conversely : wherever ideas are to conquer the world, they require the leverage of real interests......” In industrially advanced countries, the demand for a certain commodity will result in higher price for that commodity. This will lead to the growth in the number of firms supplying the said commodity. This pattern will repeat itself in a number of different products. In this manner, enterprises will emerge to meet the rising demand for a variety of goods and services, and a greater degree of self-sufficiency will be achieved in the nation's economy. Thus there exists a “polar coordination” between such a pattern of economic development and “the economic individualism”, an ideology which postulates that the search for private profit will ultimately lead to the benefit of the society. In underdeveloped countries, when the demand for a certain commodity arises, it is imported from advanced countries. Under these circumstances, typically, indigeneous firms will emerge to manufacture these products, for which the market has been initially developed by the imports. This will lead to the replacement of imports by locally produced goods. This is an economic development by means of “import substitution”, and is precisely the process whereby a grater degree of self-sufficiency in the national economy was achieved in prewar Japan. On the other hand, entrepreneurs in prewar Japan were highly nationalistic, and this nationalism manifested itself in the form of “developing home industries and in so doing suppressing imports” (“yunyû bôatsu”). For theser easons, there existed a “polar coordination” between the nationalism and the economic development through import substitution in prewar Japan. In this context, the prewar nationalism played the same role in the Japan's economic development as the economic individualism has in the West. The auther sought to examine the foregoing in the context of the steel industry in prewar Japan.