- The Human Geographical Society of Japan
- 人文地理 (ISSN:00187216)
- vol.43, no.4, pp.328-347, 1991-08-28 (Released:2009-04-28)
A public utility is a useful service for the public, such as electricity, gas, water and sewage and transportation. Generally speaking, in the Meiji Era., most of the smaller utilities were unprofitable. Nevertheless, there were some entrepreneurs who willingly invested their money in the smaller utilities. For example, they are Keijiro Amemiya who established Dainihon Light Railway Company, Tokichi Saiga who established Saiga Electric Machinery and Appliance Company, and so forth.Saiga & Co. (Saiga Electric Machinery and Appliance Company) which was established by Tokichi Saiga had approximately 80 subsidiary companies including electricity, electrical equipment and various railways such as tramway and railway. The covered most parts of Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa. However, their business collapsed to the point where they dishonored a bill in 1912 and went bankrupt soon after that.Saiga & Co. ran electricity businesses and railway businesses at the same time in the same area depending on the situation. Matsuyama in Ehime Prefecture and Iinan in Mie Prefecture are the cases. These areas are regarded as one of the most important areas for their business. Therefore, I discussed the Matsusaka Railway Company and Matsusaka Water Electric Company in my essay, which are subsidiary companies of Saiga & Co. in the Iinan District.Consequently, I could come to three points as follows:1. Matsusaka Railwey Company and Matsusaka Water Power Electric Company were two major companies in the Iinan District at that time, Local capital intersts had planned to establish them in their original plans. But, they failed to raise funds and asked Saiga & Co. for financial aid. Doth enterprises were established in this way.2. Matsusaka Railway Company and Matsusaka Water Power Electric Company developed their businesses rapidly after Tokichi Saiga participated in their management. This means that his contribution to the businesses was indispensable for their success in administrative and technical aspects.3. In 1910, Saiga and the manager of Matsusaka Water Power Electric Company participated in a project to build Matsusaka Light Railway. Matsusaka Water Power Electric Company built a dam across the Kushida River to generate electricity in 1905. However, it interrupted the transportation of the timber on floats, which was the customary way to transport timber in those days. Therefore, Matsusaka Water Power Electric Company participated in the project and contributed to build Matsusaka Light Railway between Matsusaka and Oishi.