The families were purged, corporate use of their names banned, shares in their holding companies sold to the public. Of 300 companies picked for break-up on antitrust grounds, just 20 went under the mallet.

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By 1930, during which time recession and two banking crises had further favoured the strong over the weak, just four houses dominated the economy: Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Yasuda and Sumitomo. But rather than specialise, as foreign firms by then mostly did, they gained scale through agglomeration, with a family-run holding company typically controlling financial, manufacturing, mining, shipping and trading units.

These core companies in turn controlled hundreds of sub-contractors.

Although loan terms may vary, Temple uses a scheduled academic year that begins with the fall semester.

The academic year is 30 weeks in length and is defined as fall semester (15 weeks), spring semester (15 weeks) with summer sessions as a trailer.

This rapid concentration of economic power among a few samurai families suited the Meiji reformers fine.

Japan, like China, had seemed to be heading for semi-colonial status, with foreigners trading on highly favourable terms out of six of Japan's ports, and controlling its international shipping.To compete as an equal, Japan must modernise fast, and that, reasoned the government, required big companies.With their close ties and obligations to government, the were amenable to guidance, as in the merger in 1885 of Mitsui's and Mitsubishi's shipping interests.But with their concentrations of industrial power, cartels, state-led investment and feudal management, the .The oldest, the house of Mitsui, had been run by merchants since its warrior-caste samurai founder hung up his sword in 1616 to brew sake and soy sauce.Ties with the state grew stronger still in the 1930s.